The Beginning of June

She takes a slow evening walk in the dales to see cowslips and purple orchids.
These days the waterfalls are silent

Some legs in shorts are better than all legs in trousers

The garden changes.
Clematis spreads into a pale mauve halo
above the front door
The rowan tree sprouts cream blossoms,
and there’s the bright smoothness of cut grass

June’s butterflies are the snowflakes of last December

Fragility is always present. A Belleek vase falls from the shelf-edge, a woman
punches her laptop, a snail shell lies broken by a boot, an abandoned boy
blusters into violence, an ankle turns and cracks on a high kerb, a man sighs
in his chair, a woman in hers

The best bubbles are blown by the calmest breath

May your smile’s beginning always be a joy
like the first taste of raspberries
may your tiny limbs stretch into ripeness
I pray you have many years
for eating raspberries

Butterflies float up to sunlight, snowflakes fall on cold ground

Spring moves past blossom, thickens
into summer green, dry times are rarer
than fair, shorts are worn on holidays
which come and go

There is much to prize in this place: Music in the Round, Art in the Park
and Jessica Ennis-Hill; millstones, poetry on walls; saying “Thank you”
to bus drivers; The Rude Shipyard serving coffee and books; cow parsley at my door

She didn’t say
“I’ll miss you”
“Be careful”
or “Come back”
She said “Good Luck”

My mother always used to say “worse things happen at sea”

Whenever the blackbird sings
and the skylark rises on its note
summer follows
I know the swifts will come
and the swallows

On a sunny path she sees a green hairstreak butterfly beside rockrose
for her there is no shiver of leaves or birdsong

Jane Monach