Hardeeville SC 2020

Donna Dallas

When all else fails
head back to Hardeeville
had the 1999 Saturn
drove that hoopty to its grave
just north of the Hardeeville exit
left it off the side of the road
to rot
there was a family of eagles when I left
built a gigantic nest in the old water tower
five of em
Years later, I stumble up the cracked stone walkway
the burned out 1978 Ford Bronco
on the same cinder blocks
those eagles they bred and bred
shit-ton of em over here now in
the deep plush woods
I think they, like us country folk
inbred and took over
there’s an albino one
some big as sheep
never seen such huge bulky mis-shaped birds of prey
these monsters hunt deep
devoured most of the wildlife
even the trees dried up and rotted out
nothin left to offer
My uncles’ sisters’ grandson came over to borrow our dolly
he’s moving further south with his second wife
her three kids
they got a baby on the way
I thought I could stop the spread
of us
my four sisters and four brothers
backyard littered with tiny graves of still borns and miscarriages
abominations that lived a few days
all of us packed in this small house
with a barn out back
we coulda lived in it but Pa was busy for years making moonshine
later my oldest brother
the first-born
set up shop in it for his meth production
All my sisters had babies
by the sweet age of sixteen
like these eagles
devoured every boy within 20 miles
gave them crabs
the clap
showed up with babies in baskets
fuck, we had so many babies in this house
no way to know who the mother
or father were
a gruesome circus 
of us
It’s almost daybreak
I caught a glimpse of a white dove
in urgent flight
It’s pure white body so darn perfect against the dark green menacing trees
wings flapped at alarming speed as far south as my eye could follow
to escape the looming eagles that haunt these woods - for them to kill 
that beautiful dove
break it open into pieces
would just be a repetition of our sick
and twisted history

Donna Dallas studied Creative Writing and Philosophy at NYU’s Gallatin School and was lucky enough to study under William Packard, founder and editor of the New York Quarterly.  Lately, Dallas is found in Horror Sleaze Trash, Beatnik Cowboy and Zombie Logic among many other publications. Dallas recently published a first novel, Death Sisters, with Alien Buddha Press. Dallas currently serves on the editorial team for Red Fez and New York Quarterly.

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