Cottonwoods

One night long ago
a murder took place
under these three trees
and the soil thickened
with spilt blood.

Because this fact
was forgotten after a time
houses sprang up
around these three trees
as the city expanded
and loosened its belt.

When I hit puberty
puberty punched me in the face
and changed my eyes
so they see through time layered
upon itself.

It was a hundred and fifty-eight layers down
if you count each year as a layer
that I saw flesh undressed from bones
and long braids tucked in belts.

This became my first lesson
no fights are fair
if you plan on winning them all
as the blue suits went on
to cut down all the apricot trees
from here to the river.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney