Foraging by Gabriel Dunsmith

Hearing the golden-winged warbler and knowing it may seldom sing again,
I lift a rotting log to reveal a colony of pinhead mushrooms

whose distant cousins deep in the trees folks in East Tennessee
used to call woodfish, which they scrounged up when there was scarce any

corn in the corncrib or sausage in the larder, with hog-killing
time still months away. Those frilled and fecund fungi are one of many

things I’ve yet to taste, though my grandfather once led us looking
through the wet-leaf, damp-bark springtime until we hit the driveway,

circled home. It’s true that some treasures will never be found
in time to pull us from the brink, while others name to us our losses,

just as, like countless creatures of the earth, we’re bound 
to search for what we love until it’s gone.

photo: Cat Gundry-Beck

Gabriel Dunsmith’s poems have appeared in Poetry, Tikkun, Kakalak, and On the Seawall. A graduate of Vassar College, he lives in Reykjavík, Iceland, where he plays mountain dulcimer in the Appalachian folk duo Lonesome Hunter.

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