“Fault” by Ron Koertge
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
In the airport bar, I tell my mother not to worry. No one ever tripped and fell into the San Andreas Fault. But as she dabs at her dry eyes, I remember those old movies where the earth does open. There's always one blonde entomologist, four deceitful explorers, and a pilot who's good-looking but not smart enough to take off his leather jacket in the jungle. Still, he and Dr. Cutie Bug are the only ones who survive the spectacular quake because they spent their time making plans to go back to the Mid-West and live near his parents while the others wanted to steal the gold and ivory then move to Los Angeles where they would rarely call their mothers and almost never fly home and when they did for only a few days at a time.
from Geography of the Forehead, 2000
University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Ark.
Copyright 2000 by Ron Koertge.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of University of Arkansas Press. Copyright 2000 Ron Koertge. For further permissions information, contact University of Arkansas Press, 201 Ozark Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72701.
About the Poet
Ronald Koertge (1940- ) is the author of six poetry collections, including And Through the Woods (World Parade Books, 2008). Koertge grew up in rural Olney, Illinois, and received a BA from the University of Illinois and an MA from the University of Arizona.
Learn more about Ron Koertge at The Poetry Foundation.