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Image by Evangelina Silina


the madrigal, volume v

the second to last teddy bears' picnic of the summer

by basil aurelian

the moribund summer whines in her bed when autumn comes to beg
that she wake up and play for yet another day. autumn isn’t ready yet.
with cheeks aflame with solar heat and shame for staying so late in
her bed of clouds, she raises her head. let’s begin.

because there’s out there a teddy bear with tartan socks who
couldn’t make the last meet with his friends. he’s hoping the weather stays
as nice as it has been the last few times. he’s made cucumber and cream cheese
sandwiches which he hates, but his friends all eat. he misses them.

and when he makes it to the clearing, rain of sun spilling silk strands of light
through every single branch, and mossy ground the perfect glowing green,
he’s the first to have arrived. having anticipated this like a fortune teller with her cards,
he sits on a log upturned and waits.

soon his friends start to trickle in like they themselves are specs of light, the dust
that floats in the woodsy air. they bring forth a blanket and some tea, sandwiches,
scones with clotted cream. hyacinth in blue dresses and daffodils with lions’ manes
watch as hugs are given and received. to have roots is a very restricting thing.

gossip is spilt under a whitening sun who tries her best to not listen in
but when the laughter of the teddy bears rings to the skies, how can she not?
so far she’s learnt that tartan socks has filled his honey pots, ready for the colder
months to begin. teddy with a daisy behind her ear takes a bite of sandwich jealously.

but soon even she cannot keep her head up for much longer and as she starts to droop,
her friend the moon comes to take watch over the teddy bears in her stead.
the teddy bears are getting cold, without the sun to warm them, though, so
the teddy bears dole out hugs and paw shakes till they meet again.

tartan socks walks home, swinging his wicker basket back and forth, and when
he reaches his door, he sets the basket down in front. leave it out for the robins to
come feast on the crumbs within, he thinks, then goes inside. inside is no warmer than
how he’d felt earlier with his friends. he climbs into bed.

before he falls asleep, he reflects, and is glad that summer seems so long in the depths
of the woods he lives in. may it never end! too many more picnics to be had with friends.
little did he know that also in her bed, the sun thought the same,
and endeavoured to give the teddy bears at least one more picnic day

before autumn.

Basil Aurelian's attempts at writing are thwarted by their cat, who likes attention. They're currently procrastinating writing their dissertation by writing poetry.

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