After the rain,
we went out in pairs
to hunt the caps
that budded at night:
wet handfuls of waxtips and widows,
lawyer’s wigs, a double-ringed yellow.
We shook them out onto gridded sheets,
the girls more careful than the boys,
pencilled notes on their size and shape,
then levelled a wood-press over their heads.
Overnight, they dropped scatter patterns
spindles and asterisks
that stained the page
with smoky rings,
blush and blot,
In that slow black snow of spores
I saw a woodcut
winter cart and horse
careen off course,
the dull crash of iron and ash,
All day, a smell of loam hung overhead.
We bent like clairvoyants
at our desks trying to divine the message
left in all those little deaths,
the dark, childless stars.