as the moon raises higher
we crawl under barbed wire
and into the fields
that no longer give us their yield
‘us’ meaning our ancestors
who fought off pests, men, and worse
just for the farm to fall
to bankruptcy like a crooked wall
to more crooked powers
“the farm is still ours”
you say to me
as we head towards the tree,
path like muscle memory,
as it’s too dark to see
the tree holds our family’s past
our initials will be the last
for the future is far away
this is a landmark of yesterday.
you turn on the flashlight
no more fleeing, I want to fight
but the bright pink ‘x’ says otherwise
now our entire family dies
with this tree.
“what will we do with the rest of our lives?”
you hold out the carving knife.
Claire McNerney is a student, writer, and performer from California. She loves space fantasy, audio dramas, and bullet journaling. In her free time, she produces the anthology podcast Cumulonimbus.