June, by Elaine Feinstein

Copyright Elaine Feinstein

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Dried up old cactus
   yellowing in several limbs
sitting on my kitchen window
   I'd given you up for dead
but you've done it again overnight
   with a tasselled trumpet flower
and a monstrous blare of red!
   So it's June, June again, hot sun
birdsong and dry air;
   we remember the desert
and the cities where grass is rare.
   Here by the willow-green river
we lie awake in the terrace
   because it's June, June again;
nobody wants to sleep
   when we can rise through the beech trees
unknown and unpoliced
   unprotected veterans
abandoning our chores
   to sail out this month in nightgowns
as red and bold as yours;
   because it's June, June again.
Morning will bring birdsong
   but we've learnt on our bodies
how each Summer day is won
   from soil, the old clay soil
   and that long, cold kingdom.