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.

untitled (first spring nights)

oh certain first spring nights
the tree blossoms
have this sticky sour smell
that wafts joyous
with grilled meats smoking

oh inhaling, inhaling till
i’m back in a thousand memories
and you’re with me

all of you are with me

oh how the sliver moon full of shadow
witnesses the
scented blindfold
take my arm, lead me

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

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.