That summer, we didn't have enough
for hiring a commercial tree service to grind,
take out the stump of an old gum tree 
felled. No mattock on hand, no chain to loop 
around and yank out with a pickup truck. 
Coffee table-sized, it stayed exposed 
to the elements, cracks filling with moss 
and the hard, waxed fans of turkey tail 
mushrooms. The season matured,
all gauze and humidity. And the yard
proliferated with islands of spores, 
colonies of them souring then shredding 
after rain, a feast for flies. I'm sure there's
a metaphor there, somewhere: underground
network snaking blind through dark soil,
salting the plumbing. Soft plush,
patiently eating through the layers. 


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