On my lawn the mushrooms grow, pale globes, large and beautiful among the green. And on Sundays, the white church next door releases its children from the confines of parents and pews. They tear the heads off, leaving shreds across the grass, stalks trampled.
All the while the family gathers on the steps to smile and bask in holy setting, society, and friends. They have gotten out of the habit of rooting out mushrooms, leaving that for their children.
I think about sitting out on my porch and defending my mushrooms. Putting on my best degenerate persona and popping a beer to growl, bearded and drunken down at them. But who’s ever up at that hour.
Besides, they aren’t really my fungus. They just grow where the alley dogs go. And the more the children tear them, the wider the spoors spread. Each week there are more mushrooms.
first published in Living With a Stranger: self portrait, 1993.