To Eat

A lady asked today if her mushrooms were edible.
Tall things, with broad umbrella caps, smooth on top,
the pink gills breathing beneath, met at the stem
in neat lines evenly spaced to the rim.
“Oh, I found them at the base of some tree, she added,
“and there weren’t any other plants nearby.”

It’s beyond my knowledge, whether it would be safe to eat.
I can say that in my younger years, I’ve definitely punted
one that looked just like it, and watched the shreds of flesh
tumble and scatter across the pine and dirt with no care
for whether it possessed any nutrition or value or benefit.

I’m not sure, dear, if it’s edible. I probably wouldn’t.

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