in the hollow

they bought it cheap
the fixer-upper in the hollow
with a garden run to seed
and beat-up picket fencing  
all around

tom and maria hauled   
out the junk inside
and burned it in the yard
and then they tried wallpapering
weird thing the paper peeled right off
leaving oozy blotches
like fresh blood 

then something went mighty wrong
the night the banging started in the cellar
doors blew open
a window shattered
it isn't safe here tom complained   
this is pennsylvania maria cried
not transylvania with rotten graves

then what is that awful stink

two nights later
a pale child
rose up at the end of the bed
eyes like clotted blood
her mouth a well of darkness

they fled the house
they never came back
and about a year later
it burned to the ground
and there in the smoking wreck
sheriff bounty found
the bones of a child

that's all I know
but if I were you folks
I wouldn't buy that parcel
in the hollow 


Anna Sykora has been an attorney in NYC and teacher of English in Germany, where she resides with her patient husband and three enormous cats.  To date she has placed 388 poems in the small press and 141 stories.  Writing is her joy.