The brilliant day commanded us to come outside.
'Twas the kind of day that tells you, in no uncertain terms,
That it would be a mortal sin to fritter away in a chat room,
Or any manner of room, for that matter. Come outside!
So, we shoved lunches into a backpack, already full
Of far more stuff than one would ever need on a day hike.
Dad was not a Boy Scout, but a Marine, and taught us
To be prepared for anything.
Inspired by the beauty of the day and curious in a feline way,
We took a trail we'd never seen before. Ere long
It dwindled down to nothing but a deer track (or maybe squirrel),
But we adventurously followed into deeper wood.
Dodging brambles and branches, we soldiered on,
Laughing at ourselves and hoping that wasn't really poison oak.
Coming upon a dappled meadow, we made the judicious decision
To stop for lunch before heading back to a more human track.
Turkey breast on sourdough, string cheese, a few goldfish --
The crunchy, not the slippery kind -- and a juice box.
Slurping the last sips, my heart catches
As I see a pair of eyes gazing back at me from a tree.
Not from behind a tree, mind you -- from a tree.
My companion doesn't see, and I can't speak.
I blink and squint again at the strange sylvan creature
Observing our meal, curious in a Wonderland way.
Not even the Marines could prepare you for this.