May 4, 2016

A Poem By Alice Jane-Marie Massa: "Welcoming Springtime in Indiana"

After earning master’s degrees from Indiana State University and Western Michigan University,  Alice Jane-Marie Massa--still a Hoosier at heart--taught  for 25 years, including 14 years of teaching writing and public speaking at Milwaukee Area Technical College.  Alice invites you to visit her blog:, where she weekly posts her poetry, essays, memoirs, or short stories.  Her writings on Wordwalk frequently focus on her Indiana home of Blanford, her guide dogs, her Italian ancestors, and writing.  Away from her desk, Alice most enjoys long walks with her third Leader Dog (Zoe), reading, container gardening, and the television program Jeopardy.

Welcoming Springtime in Indiana

Not a red carpet,
but a checkered black-and-white carpet
welcomes springtime and 33 drivers to Indiana.
The green flag is waved
while racing and springtime burst forth
in my Hoosier homeland.

The rototiller is in the garden,
the Wheel Horse is trimming the green grass,
the tractors are in the fields,
and the Indy cars are at the Speedway.

The sweet peas are trailing up the east fence,
the irises are reaching toward the sun,
the dogwoods are blossoming in pale pink,
the calves are in the pasture,
and the crowds are in the stands
for "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing."

The hooks in the ceiling of our big front porch
held nothing all winter;
but now, my dad stretches his 6'1"-frame
and places a link on each hook
so that, blessedly once again,
our varnished and beloved wooden swing
is on the porch of our Blanford home.

Sitting beside my dad
on our front porch swing,
I witness his enthusiastic "Hello!"
and his massive Hoosier wave
to a peopled car that drives down
our rural cut-off road.
Puzzled, I ask my smiling father,
"Who was that?"
Wearing his cap with the Indy 500 logo,
my dad grins and says,
"I don't know."

A checkered flag, a porch swing,
and my dad's Hoosier wave
were all that were needed
to begin welcoming all
to springtime in Indiana.

~ Alice Jane-Marie Massa

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