June Upstate (Beginning of Vacation)



June Upstate (Beginning of Vacation)

I call it spring,
because my children were
still lamblike
and we uncurled on a wool blanket
edged by grass that sprouted as wisps
rather than blades

and their hair downed
my arms, their heads resting so they too
could see the book, which I sometimes held aloft
a little like our own cloud, but more
like our own sun–what we
revolved around
that first country morning
as we moved the blanket about
an apple tree, in and out
of heat and cold,
brightness and wind,
the way the sky itself moved–
sometimes holding
our breath–for it was an exciting book,
a novel–
sometimes not speaking
in a way that was different
from listening, even me, not speaking,
who read aloud—for it had sad parts

after words,
in a stiff unfold (as if our spines
had become the book’s spine),
our skin prickling (as if just then feeling
wool’s scratch),
and blinking at the overclouding blow
of afternoon,
we pulled ourselves back
into this single, unpaged, world, kneeling
as we rose.  


A poem for Corey Rowley’s prompt on With Real Toads about a perfect spring day.  Spring doesn’t begin till rather late in the Catskills.   (The pic above was taken in more of a May time, but it truly is still spring in June in that all could freeze again before then!) 

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19 Comments on “June Upstate (Beginning of Vacation)”

  1. Mama Zen Says:

    This is breathtakingly beautiful.

  2. Kerry O'Connor Says:

    I could not imagine a more perfect poem than this.

  3. Goodness this is lush in description…brings one right in…beautiful work, K!

  4. This is absolutely exquisite, a joy to read!

  5. Jim Says:

    Nice work, good job, k. I was moving around with you and the kids, as good book is hard to put down. I kept trying to see if there was symbolism hiding in the book but if there was, I missed it.
    We had nice day today as well. I went out on the balcony to check on the azalea blooming process and thought, I should just brink a book and stay up here and read for a while. But I didn’t .
    It also reminded me of the two times back in another life where we had a blanket and the kids, two different times, places, and agendas.
    And in the country school, we would have class outside some days in the spring. We begged our teacher to take us out.

  6. hedgewitch Says:

    Really a soft and feeling conclusion to this, k–though hard to top that first stanza. Happiness is such a very simple thing, sometimes, coming down to just the soft weight of a warm child’s head on your arm, the mind-walk through book country, the grateful kneel before rising.

  7. That togetherness on an island of love in the nature’s blessng. Just wonderful end. After words and afterwards is a brilliant part as well as becoming a book.

  8. Brendan Says:

    I’m sure I became a reader because my mother’s voice was over me as hear, saying the words, unfolding another tapestry of tale. That umbilicus is with me here as I read this poem, I hear her voice again. Set outside on a cold/warm spring day (as only spring days can be, emwombed with voice yet feeling the raw cut of the wool’s cloth – the book is nature’s, of course, or how it has been handed down: “a single, unpaged world.” Yes o Yes.

  9. CC Champagne Says:

    Lovely, simply lovely! Felt as if I was right there with you (though have a feeling that wool blanket would have felt slightly overcrowded).

  10. You beautifully describe this exquisite scene. Kneeling at the end acknowledges the sacredness of it. I love this.

  11. M Says:

    just gorgeous, K. makes me want to have a picnic with my sons, though they may be a bit old for the sweetness you evoke ~

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Not sure where my review went for this….hmmmm…..or maybe it was bad enough for you to delete it, lol. Sorry, but I did review this a few days ago and thought it a perfect painting of what everyone should be doing on a spring day. Hang with the lovelies, soak in the warm, chill, warm and just float, book in hand. Wonderful writing, loved every minute!!!

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