Was there ever

a July like this? Or were we always waiting for disasters? Watching the sky for tornados, locusts, dust clouds or smoke? Hiding in the shadows from the heat? Can we, even in our imaginations, conjure up this lazy summer afternoon? Will our children have any idea that such a thing ever existed?

by Susan Hartley Swett

When the scarlet cardinal tells
Her dream to the dragon fly,
And the lazy breeze makes a nest in the trees,
And murmurs a lullaby,
It is July.

When the tangled cobweb pulls
The cornflower's cap awry,
And the lilies tall lean over the wall
To bow to the butterfly,
It is July.

When the heat like a mist veil floats,
And poppies flame in the rye,
And the silver note in the streamlet's throat
Has softened almost to a sigh,
It is July.

When the hours are so still that time
Forgets them, and lets them lie
'Neath petals pink till the night stars wink
At the sunset in the sky,
It is July.

When each finger-post by the way
Says that Slumbertown is nigh;
When the grass is tall, and the roses fall,
And nobody wonders why,
It is July.