Ann Levingston Joiner
Lamar University Press
"With gusting winds up to ninety miles..."
Came the hollow voice from the box that sat
Beside the candle on the table.
The older ones listened quietly.
While we, to young to know restraint
And just too old to be afraid,
Disdainfully moved to the porch outside.
The driving rain whipped our coats in the wind.
From there we watched it whip the limbs
Of an oak that stood across the yard
Whose limbs grew tall and straight and strong.
It fiercely stood against the storm.
But then, we saw, on one side of the tree,
A bulge begin to form on the ground,
Growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger still.
The tree began leaning the other way.
And as we watched in awe, we saw
It leaning further and further still,
Until only its branches were holding it up.
They snapped as the tree sank slowly down.
The bulge on the ground became its roots
And as they pulled up on the other side,
They forced up a piece of concrete walk.
A slab, raised erect, loomed grey and dark.
Inside, subdued, we sat with the others
By the flickering candle on the table,
Transfixed as the black box spoke again.
"Cameron, Louisiana; over 200 dead..."