Writing | Pigbaby by Danielle Willis

They say they found a ten month old baby
in back of the ruined barn being
suckled by a half-starved piebald sow
and that the baby had the snout of a pig
and the sow had the eyes of a woman
and that inside the barn
old Farmer MacPhearson was
hanging from the rafters
They say there's a drowned girl
at the bottom of the well
who gets lonely in the summertime and
likes to teach passing children how to swim
face down
I used to throw down rocks in our well to see
if she'd come up to play but
she never did
They say a woman in town
got so disgusted with her fat husband that
one night while he was sleeping she
chained him to their bed and
didn't feed him for a month - just
gave him water and stuffed cotton in her ears
so she couldn't hear him plead
until one day he
got loose and ate her up
bones and all
They say if you turn the lights off
in the bathroom and
look in the mirror and
say Bloody Mary 100 times she'll
appear in your reflection and
kill you
I knew a kid who tried it once
but chickened out at 98
They say beware the crossroads at midnight,
the old dark house at the end of the street with
the lights in the window
beware black cats and men whose eyebrows
meet in the middle and smell like dog
They say
They say
They say
They say I'm strange and I wish I were
but every time I've gone to the cemetery and
laid my head on the earth
listening for muffled breathing and
the stirring of limbs
I've heard nothing but beetles