Knee-deep in June

(1912) by James Whitcomb Riley

Tell you what I like the best— ’Long about knee-deep in June, ’Bout the time strawberries melts On the vine,—some afternoon Like to jes’ git out and rest, And not work at nothin’ else! Orchard’s where I’d ruther be— Needn’t fence it in fer me!— Jes’ the whole sky overhead, And the whole airth underneath— Sort o’ so’s a man kin breathe Like he ort, and kind o’ has Elbow-room to keerlessly Sprawl out len’thways on the grass Where the shadders thick and soft As the kivvers on the bed Mother fixes in the loft Allus, when they’s company! Jes’ a-sort o’ lazin there— S’lazy, ’at you peek and peer Through the wavin’ leaves above, Like a feller ’ats in love And don’t know it, ner don’t keer! Ever’thing you hear and see Got some sort o’ interest— Maybe find a bluebird’s nest Tucked up there conveenently Fer the boy ’at’s ap’ to be Up some other apple tree! Watch the swallers skootin’ past Bout as peert as you could ast; Er the Bob-white raise and whiz Where some other’s whistle is. Ketch a shadder down below, And look up to find the crow— Er a hawk, - away up there, ’Pearantly froze in the air!— Hear the old hen squawk, and squat Over ever’ chick she’s got, Suddent-like! - and she knows where That-air hawk is, well as you!— You jes’ bet yer life she do!— Eyes a-glitterin’ like glass, Waitin’ till he makes a pass! Pee-wees wingin’, to express My opinion, ’s second-class, Yit you’ll hear ’em more er less; Sapsucks gittin’ down to biz, Weedin’ out the lonesomeness; Mr. Bluejay, full o’ sass, In them baseball clothes o’ his, Sportin’ round the orchad jes’ Like he owned the premises! Sun out in the fields kin sizz, But flat on yer back, I guess, In the shade’s where glory is! That’s jes’ what I’d like to do Stiddy fer a year er two! Plague! Ef they ain’t somepin’ in Work ’at kind o’ goes ag’in’ My convictions! - ’long about Here in June especially!— Under some ole apple tree, Jes’ a-restin through and through, I could git along without Nothin’ else at all to do Only jes’ a-wishin’ you Wuz a-gittin’ there like me, And June wuz eternity! Lay out there and try to see Jes’ how lazy you kin be!— Tumble round and souse yer head In the clover-bloom, er pull Yer straw hat acrost yer eyes And peek through it at the skies, Thinkin’ of old chums ’ats dead, Maybe, smilin’ back at you In betwixt the beautiful Clouds o’gold and white and blue!— Month a man kin railly love— June, you know, I’m talkin’ of! March ain’t never nothin’ new!— April’s altogether too Brash fer me! and May—I jes’ ’Bominate its promises,— Little hints o’ sunshine and Green around the timber-land— A few blossoms, and a few Chip-birds, and a sprout er two,— Drap asleep, and it turns in Fore daylight and snows ag’in!— But when June comes - Clear my th’oat With wild honey!—Rench my hair In the dew! And hold my coat! Whoop out loud! And th’ow my hat!— June wants me, and I’m to spare! Spread them shadders anywhere, I’ll get down and waller there, And obleeged to you at that!