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Chanterelles

Jonathan Graham

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The chanterelles lie in the rain-soaked leaves
like orange hibiscus flowers. In the dirt,
mycelium communicates unseen
with rootlets of an oak. Your eyes revert

from mine back down to scan the muddy ground
for mushrooms – I can tell you Latin names
for each; and where each species can be found;
and when to look for each kind after rain;

and which Lactarii are good to eat,
and which you will regret; and how to tell
the “Jack-O-Lantern” glowing at your feet
(an O. Illudens) from a chanterelle.

I’m so well-versed in fungal quiddity –
but six years in, you’re still a mystery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

an orange chanterelle mushroom growing in leaves and sticks
Contributed By

Jonathan Graham lives with his wife and son in Charleston, South Carolina. A student of Latin and Greek, his poetry has been published at The American Journal of Poetry, West Trade Review, and Holt Magazine. His essays have appeared at The Federalist and Fides Quaerens. In his free time, he likes to hunt, fish, and gather.

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