First poem in my decatet of poems paired with my senior Heaney thesis. Heaney is the inspiration in diction, syntax and prosody; I composed these poem by a rule of 4s: 4 “beats” per line, 4 lines per stanza, 4 stanzas, while writing about Heaney’s “Squarings” series in Squaring Things.
Under the tree with black branches
and a white lily drooping earthward,
like the last drop of dew in the desert,
sits a punk clump of pious mushrooms.
This year they wait in prayer in the shade
like a prophet spreading out his legs
from the trunk to the continents. Next
year, they will reappear in the drawer
of some widowed mother’s cupboard,
and she will let them over-ferment
and mince them a day before they rot
and stir in broth like a witch-doctor.
Children and grandchildren who eat them
shall grow pale with delirious visions
and thirst for water to speed the season
to hide the shadow of the shriveled bloom.
art by Dylan Pearce