The Mushroom Hunters

They emerge from the fog
like monks cowled in floppy hats,
eyes downcast, walking slowly
as though in meditation.  

Each carries in the crook
of one arm a basket to cradle
the ghostly fruit that erupts
from our vacant lot in fall.

They are trespassing,
my father says, yet he neither
posts nor fences the field
I mow each spring for baseball.

Thus do we concede their claim
to places they know better
than we do, places older than
baseball, deeper than fences.

Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash.

Milton J. Bates

Milton J. Bates is the author of books about Wallace Stevens, the Vietnam War and the Bark River watershed in Wisconsin. His poetry includes the collection Stand Still in the Light (Finishing Line Press, 2019) and two chapbooks, Always on Fire (Five Oaks Press, 2016) and As They Were (YellowJacket Press, 2018). He lives in Marquette, Michigan.  Learn more about Milton J. Bates.