The town called me the hanging tree,

Not the cottonwood or oak;

I was just the hanging tree

And I played a part

In ending lives

When a rope was strung,

Across my strongest bough,

And there men hung until they died;

My roots were stained

With blood that soaked

Deep into my ground,

Blood that seeped

Deep into my roots

And so became a part

Of my life and limb.

I agonized every time

The rope was thrown

Over my stout branch,

But no on heard my cries.

The tree-who-talks

Leaves only death and destruction

In his wake

While those who shed

Their blood

Into my soil

Become a part

of me.

I am the hanging tree.


Sandra Lee Smith/May 2008/updated June, 2018


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