Two miles west of Hell, Michigan
we hiked the woods near Gosling Lake
where we marveled at a city of doughy white mushrooms,
spied lacy bracket fungus—
like burnt potato chips growing up a tree—
and found brown button mushrooms
tucked into crevices of decaying trunks.
It was our first walk in the woods
since John’s hip replacements.
I wore a sling under my coat for a
broken collarbone. We wielded
walking sticks for careful trudging
up and down the low hills
and through the muddy places.
John didn’t mind my stopping to snap photographs,
because it gave us time to rest
(photography, like park benches with views).
The afternoon had started out gray, but
as we continued walking, the clouds parted,
the sun inflamed the yellows and oranges,
and the forest blazed, triumphant.
Katherine Edgren’s book The Grain Beneath the Gloss, published by Finishing Line Press, is now available. She also has two chapbooks: Long Division and Transports. Her poems have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Coe Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Third Wednesday, Peninsula Poets, and Barbaric Yawp, among others.