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Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Did you ever hear about
the hanging tree? We hadn't.
Come, he said, I'll drive you there.
On the way he told us about
the huge oak standing in
his family's back yard
that had served as gallows
for condemned prisoners.

Taken from the county jail,
made to sit on a horse
standing under the thick
lowest limb, they were jerked
into the air, kicking till
they breathed their last.

The tree, he told us, stood
sixty feet high. We arrived
at the house where he said
he had lived as a boy and
heard stories about the men
who were strung up to die.
He led out back and pointed.

There, he said. We gaped.
Where's the tree? We asked.
Oh, it's been gone for
over a hundred years, he said.
It stood right over there.

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