of breasts and mushrooms

A loose jowled, broad shouldered woman in black
wanders our camp with large handled basket and
pendulous breasts swinging freely beneath peasant blouse
above thin legs. She asks in lilting accent, perhaps French,
“May I have your mushrooms?” as though they were ours
only for camping for a price on a mountain where air hums
with RV generator songs. Admiring her trespass of parceled
campground boundaries, her astute respect for American
habits of possession in a quest for fungal delicacies,
and having enough delighted in their frumpy company peeking
at my pointing children from tiny mosses and pine duff, I say,
“Yes, of course,” and notice her basket nearly full, soil clinging
to creamy sponge roots below dozens of burnt red waxen caps,
echoing her own robust form.  She squats and pulls. Wanders.
Squats and pulls some more, looks up at me, around me,
as I write. I want to walk with her, watch her cook these mysteries
over fire, taste her Rocky Mountain dreams of French cuisine.
I imagine, instead, her crossing into other camps, ambassador, visiting
my rough brothers-in-law, their blonde wives, leaning against red
trucks and silver mini vans, not far from here, through lodge pole pines,
her gentle request, their eyes upon her passing swaying breasts,
crude comments chuckled beneath beer breath,
relieved their own wives’ tits are tucked away,
firmly compressed, hiding their age, padded and wired
from wandering eyes, mushrooms unable to rise,
no nipples greeting the duff of day.

2007

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