Instruction

May 1, 2013

Kid, look. Life is full of shiitake mushrooms,

portabella, white button, etc.—great—

but they grow together with webcap and varieties

of amanita and tricholoma whose amatoxins

will sicken you or worse: lead to loss of breath,

of limb, cause vomiting or even death.

And while I value your freedom to roam

and pluck and gnaw and figure all this out

the way I did (entirely on my own),

wait a sec. Sit. Memorize the mushroom chart

for not only your health but your heart.

You won’t remember it, I know. You’ll go

and lose your breath, maybe your life

or worse: your career, credibility, wife.

There are dangerous fungi out in the wood

easily mistaken for tasty and good,

no way to avoid it. It’ll poison your heart.

But it’s best to learn morels before you start.

 

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