I’m a mycological connoisseur
who welcomes the surprise of spring
when I hike off the trails
searching for forsythia and crocuses
that pop-up in a veil of golden mist.
In April, I find morels—
brain-like and shiny,
erect under old apple trees,
a dry land fish, succulent
in a gribiche sauce with a bottle
of Barolo Barbaresco wine.
Foraging for day-lily sprouts,
wild sorrel and fiddlehead ferns,
I gather chanterelles that show off
yellowish-orange sweet meat
like bouquets at a debutant’s ball.
This is the life, I say to myself
inhaling the scent of balsam pine.
The slender green fingers of the tree
embrace me with divine tenderness
as I recline on a bank of star moss
I shun false morels and deadly amanita
whose toxic deception doesn’t belong
in this untroubled oasis.
They’re like the paunchy movers and shakers
who smile while sending boys off to slaughter—
cannon fodder for waving flags.