Barefooted

A poem by John Charles McNeill

The girls all like to see the bluets in the lane
And the saucy johnny-jump-ups in the meadow,
But, we boys, we want to see the dogwood blooms again,
Throwin' a sort of summer-lookin' shadow;
For the very first mild mornin' when the woods are white
(And we needn't even ask a soul about it)
We leave our shoes right where we pulled them off at night,
And, barefooted once again, we run and shout it:
You may take the country over--
When the bluebird turns a rover,
And the wind is soft and hazy,
And you feel a little lazy,
And the hunters quit the possums--
It's the time for dogwood blossoms.

We feel so light we wish there were more fences here;
We'd like to jump and jump them, all together!
No sleds for us, no guns, nor even 'simmon beer,
No nothin' but the blossoms and fair weather!
The meadow is a little sticky right at first,
But a few short days 'll wipe away that trouble.
To feel so good and gay, I wouldn't mind the worst
That could be done by any field o' stubble.
O, all the trees are seemin' sappy!
O, all the folks are smilin' happy!
And there's joy in every little bit of room;
But the happiest of them all
At the Shanghai rooster's call
Are we barefoots when the dogwoods burst abloom!

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