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Revisionist History - Keith Hoerner

$10,000 down Gets you in Your choice of Ranch or two-story In prestigious Nooning Tree


“Is there one, a Nooning Tree?” “Of course,” the saleslady answers Loose strands of hair catching The corner of her mouth Like a lie


Tempered by talk of tradition She motions; I follow Slipping on the deceptively Green sod Outside her display home


She points, arm outstretched Fingers fanning In a ta-da moment “There … The Nooning Tree”


Under that very shade (weather permitting) Noon meals were served To plantation workers Every day


Quaint, now, isn’t it?”


Yes, if It were true


If *only* it were *true* For a few of us Still know fact from fiction About this suburbanized 183-year-old black walnut


Its gnarled branches Leafingthroughsecrets

Midday laughter filtered Not Through this centurion’s autumnal rush Frenetic excitement hung thick in the air Frozen families, slack-jawed gawkers, jeering landlords *gathered*


On what is now Premium Lot 241 (backing to woods) Where a barbarian’s buffet Was laid


Bulging Blood-shot eyes Subtle smells of rope- Burned flesh Slaves *lynched* on the strike of *noon*


On a *tree* On A Bountiful S t r e t c h o f L a n d

 

Keith Hoerner (BS, MFA) lives, teaches, and pushes words around in Southern Illinois. He is published frequently in lit journals like decomP, Fiction Kitchen Berlin, and Litro—to name just a few. He is founding editor of the Webby Award recognized Dribble Drabble Review, and his memoir, The Day the Sky Broke Open, is a recent Best Book and American Writing Award Finalist.

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