One day, acting on a hunch,

a group of orderlies, nurses, doctors, took a picnic lunch,

thinking that a breath of fresh air would do them wonders.

A welcome break from Legionnaire-conditioning, diseases, face masks, rubber gloves, blood soaked sponges.

Bandages for the injured. Beta blockers for the sick. Morphine booster shots for the dying.

(When they said they were against euthanasia they were lying.)

In the park, although they were still in uniform, they felt different, more serene. Nibbling on sandwiches, drinking coffee and smoking.

(When they said they were dying for a cigarette they were not joking.)

Not a word was spoken as they sat in grim contemplation of the birds and the bees. They were even frowning, as if they disapproved, at a colony of ants that devoured a browning apple core.

What was it all for?

And why, if they were closer to nature, did they feel further removed from it?