The setting for Gluck’s “Noon” is about lost innocence. It’s a picnic at which two youths engage in a sexual act without considering what happens next. The unanswered question it whether this is an act of lust or love.
Noon is meant to suggest the symbolic time at which youth tips into maturity:
The sky’s completely blue, so the grass is dry.
They’ll be able to sit with no trouble.
They sit, they talk about everything—then they eat their picnic.
They put the food on the blanket, so it stays clean.
They’ve always done it this way; they take the grass themselves.
They are not aware of the consequences, and Gluck suggests that they make love without love.
See Louise Gluck, “Noon.” The New Yorker ( January 29, 2007)