One Day in March
Start back as far as poetry goes back
and each poet sings, as if the first,
of spring and its new birth, the tender green,
the birds in courting feather, the bud swelling
with the sap of life…we can not help ourselves.
In Maine we all go it one better and on some day
in March when snow melt runs in gutters
and squashed coffee cups and beer cans emerge
from under cover and a little line of stubble
along the highway verge gives off that smell,
not necessarily pretty but fecund,
that sends people smiling into the post office
and the bank, exchanging greetings with neighbors,
talking about the beautiful day.
Only “people from away” have seen the beer cans, the
crushed coffee cups, the road sand tossed up on the lawn.
We in Maine don’t jinx the day
by naming it the first day of spring,
but we know it when we smell it.
– Ruth Webber Evans