What will I be doing when it comes?

I want to be with you – still,


though you may not be here.

I thought about this last night when stirring


mushrooms into olive oil warming in a cast iron pan,

not exactly close to nature,


though connected, in their slicing

and burnishment.


The last time we saw them in the wild


was the day we drove the perimeter

of a town eaten by fire


pockmarked acrid mountainside

not yet scrubbed of smoke.


We kept going, the Russian River uncharred,

irrupted by spring and green.


At the start of that long hike early evening

you said, First to spot mushrooms wins.


I read about a study which found a spouse’s hand

calms worry most of all.


You were the first to see them –

then I thought they, like you, were grinning,


having pushed themselves through misty earth

turning so far on itself that it created the opposite


of fear, of the thick clock advancing.

In the bruised dark


gathering now, I remind myself

It is only evening of another day.


Soon your hand will find mine, or mine yours,

and in that place, What other shadows?


Not one, not found.