Chanterelles, truffles, Trompe de Mort,
all packed tight in the boot of his car,
dusted with soil, sweet smelling and rich.
Evidence of his absence.
He is tired, but he marvels the load.
“Forager’s finest,” he says. True.
Those fleshy gills, golden stems,
caps like parasols rippled by wind.
A prize haul of unknown hours
hunting alone through forests,
prying leaves, digging and sleeping
amidst the milk-caps and brackets.
But there’s never a word of his labour.
I still don’t know his name. All I know
of the forager is that the pale band of skin
on his finger darkens with dirt and time.