When I was young I discovered a fairy ring in my backyard.
A perfect circle of crooked, milk white stems
topped with smooth velvety caps.
I swept my thumb across the tender feathered gills that hid
underneath, as though they were the pages of a book
I could flip though—learn all the secrets from.
To me it was a magical enigma, an illustration
from a fairy tale painted onto the grass under my feet,
so I stepped into the circle to wait for the fairies.
I could feel their magic under my feet—the soft hum
of life that all nature sings, soft and gentle and deep.
I didn’t know the mystery, how these mushrooms had formed
so perfectly, so simultaneously. That the mycelium had fallen
in just the perfect way, spread underground into just the perfect shape,
released the reaching tendrils of hyphae throughout
the subterranea—waiting for the perfect moment.
Anticipating that silent command: brothers, rise.
All I knew was that overnight—like magic—they had emerged
in darkness underneath the silver glow of the moon.
My name is Bethany Hale. I am a poet and mother of three writing in Nashville, TN. I have not previously been published.