We’re Only Picking This One Kind of Mushroom, But We Know What It Is

by Nomi Stone

What a summer! Our basket
isn’t big enough. We look near the roots
considering each neck, proof
that after a good rain, the sleeping

fructify, moon-pale threads
tessellating together under the soil.
My mother & father have stayed
together: they love each other

& usually are good, each to
the other, & my mother’s
mother & father both loved
the other and when young they rode

horses together, & my father’s
father harmed my father’s mother
but my father is so astonishingly
kind, to my mother and to his son

and daughters; he taught me how to give
whoever it is I love the bigger half,
to hold the thread together. After
rain, you can count on new

mushrooms, lit fruit in the moss.
I’m not afraid of anything. Ok, I am,
oh god I am. But, sweetie, look:
all these tiny trumpets.

This poem previously appeared in Plume.

Nomi Stone is a poet and an anthropologist, and author of two full-length poetry collections, Stranger’s Notebook (TriQuarterly 2008) and Kill Class (Tupelo 2019), a finalist for the Julie Suk Award. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, a Fulbright, and broadcast on buses across Rhode Island by the Poetry Society of America, Stone’s poems appear recently in POETRYAmerican Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor of poetry at UT Dallas.

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