Thursday, 6 June 2013

the lightness of being in the green June

we were teased, by bully May, into believing 
summer had arrived - until it left.

coming and going,
like fickle love that couldn’t decide
whether to stick around or head back out –

so that, we came to feel like we could burst, from our snowsuits
and thermal lined, waterproof boots . . .
(with corrugated soles).

but then, at last, after months and months
of slogging off into the bitter-bleak beyond
(by way of walking to school)
bundled up like woolly piñatas:

summer, reluctantly,
came to the children of  northern Ontario
(to the annual amazement of us all).

and, finally, we could play:

we could skip
we could run
and – best of all - we could bounce
an India Rubber Ball and watch it fly
up-up-up into the sky.

and when it came down and when you caught it
(which, of course, you always did) . . .
it was wonderful and freeing:

the lightness of being
in the scent of sun and mud and leaves

and the sight of an India Rubber Ball
soaring high – astonishing -
high above, in astonishing green June trees.

notes:  Rubber (an elastic material obtained from the latex sap of trees) was first known to the indigenous peoples of the Americas.  In 1525, European explorers reported that they had seen people playing with elastic balls in Mexico. In England, as its use became more popularized, it became known as India Rubber.  Though, I haven’t seen a 1950’s style India Rubber Ball (as opposed to a sponge rubber ball that barely bounced at all) in many, many years.

Snowstorms in May might sound unbelievable but on May 2, 2013, once again, Northern Ontario was hit by a huge snow storm.

Photo:  Green June – W. Bourke

© 2013 Wendy Bourke


  1. and winter reluctantly comes to us here!
    thanks for your poem - enjoyed it as well as your commentary.

  2. Thanks, Janet. I sometimes wonder about my little notes, though my family tell me, its their favorite part of my posts. Eeeech!