Once There Was a Tree

Once there was a tree with sturdy branches
Olive branch
Executive branch
Branch out
Once there was fruit dropping at the end of the branch

Red soil yields strange fruit
Bitter fruit
Rotten fruit
Fruit flies

Once there was a limb at the end of the brand
Limp limb
Broken limb
Dead limb on a living tree

There were flowers at the end of the tree.
Flowers on a graveside
Open grave
Unmarked grave
Unmapped land, without zip code or address.

At the end of the flowers the blood
The blood, cries
The blood bleeds out
The blood asks: what have you done?

Copyright © 2020 by Chasity Gunn. This poem originally appeared in Electric Moon, October 2020. Used with permission of the author.