Claude McKay

(15 September 1889 – 22 May 1948 / Clarendon)

A Memory of June


When June comes dancing o'er the death of May,
With scarlet roses tinting her green breast,
And mating thrushes ushering in her day,
And Earth on tiptoe for her golden guest,

I always see the evening when we met--
The first of June baptized in tender rain--
And walked home through the wide streets, gleaming wet,
Arms locked, our warm flesh pulsing with love's pain.

I always see the cheerful little room,
And in the corner, fresh and white, the bed,
Sweet scented with a delicate perfume,
Wherein for one night only we were wed;

Where in the starlit stillness we lay mute,
And heard the whispering showers all night long,
And your brown burning body was a lute
Whereon my passion played his fevered song.

When June comes dancing o'er the death of May,
With scarlet roses staining her fair feet,
My soul takes leave of me to sing all day
A love so fugitive and so complete.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: june, passion, death, rain, song, green, home, pain, night, memory, love, dance, wedding, rose

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Comments about this poem (A Memory of June by Claude McKay )

  • Rookie Michelle Reeve (7/15/2014 3:23:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem, I am surprised it is not better known. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 7 Points Sylva Portoian (11/4/2011 3:16:00 PM)

    Now... we are at fall
    But your poem felt me
    To feel in June...
    Your rhymes are music
    Dancing over my chest...
    I can't leave your poems
    Although it's dark
    Your stanzas
    Left me forget the clock (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,833 Points john tiong chunghoo (5/12/2006 9:15:00 AM)

    claude, love this. a lot of sensitivity and great images. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

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