PICNIC

A cloud envelopes the forest.  The trees believe it is they who pierce the cloud, impaling it, its essence drained onto their sagging limbs.  The shower passes and we walk the forest floor.  In a small clearing we lie down on a damp bed of needles.  They do not pierce our skin.  Four birds gather on a nearby limb.  They stare at us, we back at them.  I pull sandwiches from the picnic basket, a bottle of wine.  You open the small blanket.  The birds seem to find this interesting.  They chitter among themselves.  We only think we understand what they are saying.  The tomato is pressed tight against the mozzarella, basil leaves floating above.  Crumbs from the ciabatta fall on the blanket.  I am distracted by a motion on the edge of vision.  I turn and think it is a doe standing many yards off, in an odd stand of birch that seem lost, dwarfed by the surrounding pines.  Bits of roll fall on the ground.  The birds pause and take careful note of this.  They are certain when we carefully pack up, the last drops of wine spilled on the ground, our forgotten scraps will be their meal.  As we walk from the forest we watch as the trees release their grip.  We see the cloud slip away into a sunlit sky.