Red Dogwood

There were red flowers exploding from the lower branches. That’s why I chose it.

It was in a field far from the road, behind an old farmhouse that was slowly allowing the damp soil to reclaim it. I spent precious time visiting and revisiting to ensure that nobody would ever spoil my new picnic grounds.

The first few visits were uneventful. The sun beat down through the branches and I could barely finish my lunch and pack up before I felt overwhelmed, sweat soaking through my dress, ready to go home. But it was beautiful. Part of me almost wished he were with me, on the blanket, drinking wine and eating cheese and enjoying the summer warmth.

Later on, as the autumn loomed, I spent longer hours there, stretching out, lingering. My mind wandered to the last time I saw him. There had been words, ugly words, and threats of abandonment.

“Aren’t you glad,” I said aloud as I packed my folded blanket and picnic basket into the trunk, “that I moved you from that nasty old freezer? It’s beautiful here.”

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