Poetic License – Albany

Poetic License – Albany

Ode to the Blue Milky

Ode to the Blue Milky

by Laura Whalen


Each year, the September season fruits—

harvest changing:

Paw paw, quince, elderberry—

This year the fruit is azure,

deepest shade of blue.

“Life is mushrooming!”

said the mycologist

on one of our woodland walks—

Then, an indigo glow

grown from the hyphae and mycelium

in the duff beneath the white pine—

soft cap revealing dusty gills, sturdy stem,

connection to the earth.

I’ve been waiting for this

my whole life:

a color that rises up,

stops you in mid-step.

Lactarius indigo

Blue Milky—

Delicate flavor, rare treat.

Mushroom, teacher, fruiting body.