Mushroom Hunting

Early morn­ing, ear­ly Spring,
in the wet woods, crunch­ing
sticks. Searching for a mush­room ring

to fill our buck­ets. Hunching
un­der a cob­web lan­yard,
the first line of a spi­der

doily, drip­ping, un­marred.
Steaming earth and wild onion,
mud and prick­le-thistle scents

and our dif­fer­ence of opin­ion–
last evening’s rents–
mend­ing as we make

our way past old quar­rels.
In the woods, just awake,
search­ing for morels.

The hard part of rhyme, for me, is mak­ing it sub­tle enough that it isn’t ter­ri­bly ob­vi­ous un­til, per­haps, the end of the po­em. I tried to do that here by putting what could be qua­trains in­to sets of three and by try­ing to make the rhyming words fall in the mid­dle of a thought wherever pos­si­ble.

The in­spi­ra­tion for this one came to me yes­ter­day while I was try­ing to con­vince the horse in the field next to my mother’s house to come vis­it. He didn’t, but I in­ad­ver­tant­ly stepped on a patch of wild onion which brought back a bunch of mem­o­ries of my child­hood tramp­ing through the woods.

I asked Lauren to work­shop this for me and I made a few ed­its based on her sug­ges­tions. I’m still not quite sat­is­fied with the doily stan­za. it sounds nice and fits niec, but it doesn’t say any­thing.

Speak your piece