My first summer in the house,
conceiving a suburban Zangarmarsh, a nighttime defense,
a lawn of gnomes and extra lives,
I let the mushrooms go as they may,
toadstools, Boletales, puffs and gills, from
old mulch and deep shadow under the oak,
six species advancing through the grass to the shade of the façade.
As an unkempt August ended, in gloves and mask,
I finally tended the yard, felt the drowsy snap
of each red cap pulled from the litter,
found spent puffballs home
not to sporelings but to maggots,
all thrown in with last autumn’s leaves,
mulch too rotten to salvage,
weeds too invasive to compost,
herbs too tender for the Georgia heat.