Southern Legitimacy Statement: Refusing the confederate conscript, the men of Winston County, Alabama were given a choice to join the confederate army or be killed. Several men, including my great great grandfather, refused to join, were jailed, and minutes before their execution attempted to escape into the woods. Only one of them survived.
we load into my dead uncle’s ford, drive through the countryside. my mother’s arm is bandaged, bleeding. she pulls the truck to the road’s dirt shoulder and parks. i cradle a hunting rifle with acorns, oak leaves, and tally marks etched into the stock. the bluetick drums her paws in the bed of the pickup, striking her snout at passing cars, flecking foam and bloodying her nose against the window to reach us. she carves teeth gainst’ the glass and i’m told she no longer recognizes me: that rabies is a disease just like alzheimer’s. i’m told to think of my grandmother. the smile she wore at her wake.