1912 - for Full Orchestra
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The Southern Pacific Railroad from Los Angeles reached Yuma , Arizona, in 1877, and Tuscon in March 1880. The western part was later rerouted north of the Gila River to serve the city of Phoenix. The coming of the railroad in the 1880s was the first of several important events that revolutionized the economy of Phoenix.

Cicatrix of rails, tied and
Nailed into the land
Trembling in anticipation.
Feel the rumbling, grumbling
Approach of distant promises,
Thrumming, humming with
Impatient eagerness,
Potent and surging.

(Rhythmic, the desert
Is shifting, is lifting
Is gifting to morning
As ever it has since
The time before time.)

Wheels shriek and spark
With purpose; gondolas,
Flatcars, reefers, hoppers,
Indistinct and blurred,
Hurrying to someplace else,
Engines writhe and hiss,
Pulsing with desire to
Run, to run to. Run!

(Rhythmic, the desert
Is shifting, is lifting
Is gifting to morning
As ever it has since
The time before time.)

Smoke streams rise
Lingering, long and languid,
Impastoed on the brightening
Canvas of the dawn.
Cinders drift slowly:
Soft, sooty snowflakes,
Tiny specks of progress
Left behind.

(Rhythmic, the desert
Is shifting, is lifting
Is gifting to morning
As ever it has since
The time before time.)

Copyright 2010 Martha Kirby Capo