WHITE WASHING HISTORY AGAINST A DARKENING AFTERNOON SKY – KEITH HOERNER

White Washing History Against a Darkening Afternoon Sky 



$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

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