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The Puffball

Was beauteously, bulbously huge—redundant

as a luminous moon—puffed and balled,

seized by Uncle Richmond from the deep woods,

plucked with both hands and brought

to the doorstep for our amazement

and accolades, and to be sliced and fried,

tasting like nothing but slightly singed butter,

which we happily shared back then, several years

before he collapsed on the porch at 85

with a heart attack, having driven forty miles

from Petoskey home clutching his chest,

sweat streaming after the meeting

where the argument was made to inject

toxic wastes under the “perfectly safe” shelf

of rock to mingle in the underground seas and sift

slowly out to the Great Lakes as has happened

before. He stood and said so, hands shaking

more than usual, so that on the dark road home

he had to stop for a minute near King’s Orchard

then drive on, legs finally giving way

on his own front porch, Lee luckily hearing

something like a branch falling, so he survived,

lean and leaving to range through the forests

after the fantastical and favor us with the tale

of it, again, or occasionally with the whole thing,

harbored and carried into our presence,

a careful joy, mysteriously magnified, come

upon as if the earth had started suddenly over.

from No Need of SympathyFind it in the library

Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2013
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.

Published in Fleda Brown Poems

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