It wasn’t long ago
flowers were sent in congratulations.
They huddled to the borders of his lawn,
shy yet beaming, and on the way to work
or back from it
he acknowledged them once.
He may not have the ability to remember.
Summer stalled out hot and still,
finally insufferable,
when a week of chill rain mercy-killed it;
later mystery is how we ourselves begged for the high times to end.
Then came mushrooms, mooning and morose,
pale as ice-shards but inflated like bureaucrats,
mindlessly bursting their own membranes.
They stared from the bushes with the cataracts of age:
not needing to see in order to know.
There was the morning he trampled them and fled
(he was already in a rush)
back to his running car,
but the sodden black earth would trigger more.

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