Alice Miller

 

The Picnic

 

The picnic outside the window (with select 

guests) carries on long after the sun 

goes down, it carries 

into night, bleeds into morning,

and trickles through days, one long with a sunset 

and crowds, another brief and pained, the picnic

outside the window 

began on the first day of spring, 

 

so warm it was more like summer 

in a city in Germany we were all borrowing, and a woman

said there was an ice-cream truck parked

at the back of the clocktower,

and around that time many brides showed up 

to walk up the castle steps and be photographed 

on that day of days

and although the brides would usually 

 

irritate us, at that stage nothing was irritating, everything irradiated 

even after the sun had gone, sunk, burned out,

the planet ruined, 

the echo of laughter continued

as we became mothers and

grandmothers and great-great ancestors

after the deathless apparatus 

was invented so we could look on 

as our children’s children’s

 

children told jokes under glass

and people laughed 

with age-old desperation

at the residual ruins from the quieter 

now but still ongoing picnic 

outside the window