On Vacation with Bonnie and Ralph

Bird rests on a tree trunk.

She tosses off a quip with a joyful lift of her head.
His silent chuckle an acquiescence.

She makes a little comment.
He responds with an idea of his own.
Then they’re quiet together.

“He’s the birder, not me,” she confides to me.
But she joins right in with him,
not accommodating,
not pandering,

Like singing along instead of applauding.

“Shall we have eggs today? It’s Thursday.”
She fries -- one for her, two for him, one for me.
He washes the plates, cups, skillet.

He manages trash.
“Trash pickup is Tuesday and Friday,” she tells me.
But has to ask him about his system
for kitchen scraps.
She doesn’t seem to notice that
he leaves the bathroom bin unemptied.
Or just doesn't mention it.

Simultaneously they lift over their heads their binoculars
and fasten arm straps that keep the tension off the neck.

“All the birders have these now,” she tells me with a wink.
He brings the telescope.
She packs a snack, announcing:
“Cheese, pecans, pretzels.”
His acquiescence inaudible.

Perhaps unnecessary.