Juneberry Primer

As a girl, I’d pronounce compote like coyote
Clafoutis rhymed with clematis or stephanotis 
                instead of cherry or juneberry, 
syllables I never quite pronounced right— 
add to this list, a plaque and the plague; 
musically, a zydeco versus a xylophone. 
Now I make compote with fruit and sugar 
                              on a long summer night 
gleaming with the off-rhymes 
                 of compound and quarter note, 
draughts of light pouring through the homonyms 
of ring and wring, a choir and quire, 
               yearning for the humble, gold clarity 
of honeybees in the lacy elderberry’s arms, 
a rushing brook with its wild blackberries, 
to say only juneberry in the foraged dark, 
               June and june again, June.