AUTUMN

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I Seeing these toadstools bursting out of the ground along the side of our neighbour’s fence, I remembered this poem by Margaret Atwood. Very sinister!  (This is only part of it.)

MUSHROOMS

i

In this moist season
mist on the lake and thunder
afternoons in the distance

they ooze up through the earth
during the night like bubbles, like
tiny bright red balloons
filling with water;
a sound below sound, the thumbs of rubber
gloves turned softly inside out.

In the morning, there is the leafmould
starred with nipples,
with cool white fishgills,
leathery purple brains,
fist-sized suns dulled to the colour of embers
poisonous moons, pale yellow.

ii

Where do they come from?

For each thunderstorm that travels
overhead there’s another storm
that moves parallel in the ground.
Struck lightning is where they meet.

from True Stories by Margaret Atwood Jonathan Cape 1982

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