First Morel by Amy Fleury #AmericanLifeinPoetry

I love the immediacy of this poem. The raw feel of it~ Enjoy!

American Life in Poetry: Column 474

Let’s celebrate the first warm days of spring with a poem for mushroom hunters, this one by Amy Fleury, who lives in Louisiana.

First Morel
Up from wood rot,
wrinkling up from duff
and homely damps,
spore-born and cauled
like a meager seer,
it pushes aside earth
to make a small place
from decay. Bashful,
it brings honeycombed
news from below
of the coming plenty
and everything rising.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Copyright © 2013 by Amy Fleury from her most recent book of poems, Sympathetic Magic, Southern Illinois University Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Amy Fleury and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

American Life in Poetry provides newspapers and online publications with a free weekly column featuring contemporary American poems. The sole mission of this project is to promote poetry: American Life in Poetry seeks to create a vigorous presence for poetry in our culture. There are no costs for reprinting the columns; we do require that you register your publication here and that the text of the column be reproduced without alteration.

incredulity (or spring miracles)

above me those heavy limbs of blossoms
gently tickle a sky of blue –
i am watching a leaf form, it’s beginning ache
and tenuous, tenacious first push off the branch

to feed off the sun, to feel a cool breeze,
oh that same breath
bringing down petals in such expressive state
as we both shake heads in incredulity.

Working in Spring

I am in a cave,
walls slimed with apathy—
Outside’s topped 80 degrees and the trees are whistling
while they work at blooming, and
the fat groundhog plays
landscape architect with the grounds.

In my cave, there is a small hole
way above my head,
not unlike a prison window,
And in through it drips drops
of sun and smells of fresh cut grass;
I can taste the world turning into another season
even if I can’t see it.

Goes to show
The universe will begin and end
unaffected by my

the magnolia blossoms

the magnolia blossoms
pink and white and soft
cling to dark tree branches
when April showers
come raining down and down
leaving those petals no choice
but to let go, say goodbye,
fly off on a wind, free,
scattering about on
a carpet of green green grass.

Crocus (Near Easter)

All winter, I was curled tight in my bed
so that my legs had become part of my torso
and my arms wrapped around the whole bundle
as to let nothing out,
or in.

In the early equinox morning,
the sun rose up over the row-homes that
stretched into a scraped horizon.
I could see it with one half-shut eye,
through one slice of blinds but I did
not move from my bulb.

Soon, soon, the glow blinded
it pierced into my drowsy eyelids and ever so gently
peeled away my fingers, prodded my arms out, then,
carefully pushed my legs straight.

I stretched across the sheets.
I stood gently, unaware.
The sun enveloped the whole of the city and room.
I was unsure of my steps,
but I stretched up and
drank in the light…blooming.