An oak tree falls to its side and cannot get up.

It cannot get up. The earth hugs it close.

Hugs it close and wraps it in soggy embrace.

Wraps it in moss so that it’s covered.

Leaves fall. Bark loosens. Limbs wither.

Spiders move in. Grubs move in. Snakes move in.

Mushrooms bloom. A collection of caps and stems.

A hand draws near. It grazes the bark.

A hand draws close and plucks from the bloom.

A pail is piled high with mushrooms.

Boots stomp through muck.

A pail swings beneath a hand.

A body sweeps through shade.

A mouth salivates and moistens the tongue.

The tongue tongues the roof of the mouth.

The mushrooms move in. They start to break down.

The mushrooms. The flavors. The mouth holds them close.

The flavors surprise. They’re held close. They’re held dear,

Mouth, tongue, throat savor the flavors before they’re swallowed.

Just for a moment, they savor the surprise.