dirty old cottonwood

the dirty old cottonwood

across my sun-scorched street

sheds branches like a snake sheds skin

in the fattened unhinged heat

of summer’s storm-warning wind

never diminishing its grandiose girth

as though sprouting arms in the eve

like hell-bent hydra regrows heads

to threaten unwary cars

and careless landscapers

who wander into its siren shade

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