Spring Comes to Evansville, Indiana

MURKY
and turbulent
now the Ohio
sucks at the mudbanks
muffles a roar
rolling redundantly
down through the flatlands
heavy with water-weight
pounding the levee
curving where Evansville
braces the shore.
Spring came in on the river ‘s crest
when the last cold wind was fading;
Spring came in on a cargo barge
with the captain ‘s bill of lading.
On Seventh
and Sycamore
in the street by the brewery
the wild nutty fragrance
of malt fermenting
comes out to the passer-by
and lingers
and spices the morning air
where the freight cars clank
and squeal and the railroad tracks
stretch away and back forever.
Spring came in on a boxcar train
from a thousand miles away;
Spring came in on the L. and N.
in a mild blue-vaulted day.
White dogwood blooms
on the trim new lawns
and the redbud screens
the graveyard wall;
the jonquils blaze in the Pigeon Creek mire.
Take a highway out of town
take a road
between the spring-ploughed fields
and the acres ribbed with wheat
where the corrugated green
spreads out to the rim of the sky.
Spring came in on a ten-ton truck
of Dixie fruit and grain;
Spring came in on a moving van
in a windless night of rain.