Tark Hill Killings by Matthew S. Parsons

There is a cave near Sinking Creek.
It’s sunk, too – like a shipwreck – 
where the boys had their final ride.

Two of them were Steve’s cousins.
After the church picnic
they went out four-wheeling.
Must have been feeling their feathers.

There’s a lot of different ideas
about what happened
out in the woods that day.

The church party went looking
and they found the bodies, all
shot clean through the head.
Execution style, they said.

Some supposed it a drug deal, busted;
that old Judge Wood was 
somehow involved.

One time, Wood got arrested
cause he carried a gun into court,
sporting his disregard like a badge.
Hard to take the man seriously.

Them boys got laid out
like dead ducks
after a good day’s hunt.

I wonder if Judge Wood liked duck
or if he ever went up Tark Hill.
You know them politicians
have seen so little of this place.

Matthew S. Parsons is a songwriter and homesteader living in eastern Kentucky. He was born on the coldest day ever recorded in Kentucky and was raised by a librarian and a bluegrass banjo player. He completed his MFA at the Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University. He has been published in Sixfold, 2River View, and Pollen: a Literary Journal. Matt lives with his fiancé, Annie, and their two border collies.

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