In May, the market exploding with
new greens, ramps and onions from
drugged grey farms dormant all winter,
we find morels, withered and brown,
“they wintered over,” says the woman.
The price is ridiculous, less than
the cost of gathering them, so we buy
a kilo. But then, she says, be certain
to cook them twice. Throw out the
rinse water. We check on-line, and yes
these are false morels, causing vomit
and paralysis and agonizing death
unless dealt with properly, and who
are we, to die so young?

We throw them out, and watch
the swallows circling, diving
on their roller-coasters in the
courtyard, catching dinner on
the updrafts, in setting sun.

– W. Marling

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