THE PICNIC GAME
The bright sun plays upon New England curvy roads
weaving among meadows and still lakes.
Pine permeates our nostrils.
Grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles park their cars,
spread blankets on brown pine needles.
We lay out the fried chicken, cranberry sauce,
potato and green salads and baked beans.
Aunt Ruthie unscrews jars of gherkins, and pickled beets,
smothers butter on her biscuit and sips sweet grape Kool Aid.
We have swimming races, play Chinese Checkers,
pile food on fancy paper plates.
I feel a drop, then two and four.
The sky is dark; it’s sprinkling.
Uncle Butch says, “Put everything away.”
We put the food away, run to the cars
where we play 20 Questions.
“Animal, vegetable or mineral?” says Aunt Ruthie.
The shower stops and the sun brings warmth.
We spread the blankets and put out the food.
I start eating and savoring delicious morsels
before it begins raining lightly.
”Put the food away, “yells Uncle Butch.
We rush to the cars before a deluge.
“Animal, vegetable or mineral?”
The next two times we just cover the food with plastic bags;
wait to make sure the clouds have passed and the sun is steady.
As we remove the bags, we’re bowled over laughing hysterically
at our picnic game.