I wrote “National Holiday” back when I was in Geneva, though the image of the orange plastic cups goes much further back in time. Thank you Full House Literary for giving this piece a home!
You picked the blanket, and unfolded it—swish. The air filled it like the sails on a pirates’ ship before it settled on the ground. You placed the picnic basket on top of it, and then you sat: I remember watching your legs. Unlike the other mothers I saw atschool, you never seemed to wear a skirt.
‘It’s a holiday, after all,’ you said.
You invited Judy and I to sit as well, patted the blanket to make it more inviting. I was holding my backpack: I had put inside all I’d need for an outing—a book, crayons, sunglasses. I decided t wear them. Judy teased me, said too much is too much. I looked at you, unsure of how to react, and you told her off. You started to pull the food out of the picnic basket: a bottle of lemonade, with beads of condensation gently forming on its sides, and a bowl of potato salad. There were garlicky sausages, and sliced cheese. And bread rolls too and peaches, though you said those were meant for later.”
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