Hush Little Baby

Maria Balbi

My sad lullaby muffles the sound of my shoveling in the churchyard.

Madeleine regurgitates cough syrup, threatening to wake up. Her drowsy cawing irritates a murder of crows.

"Immaculate conception...? Crow Daemon's kin." The townspeople muttered, "bury the sin."

My baby's squawk summons the crows. Beaks stab my body. Despite the slashes, I dig faster.

Madeleine's black eyes snap open. Our father's gaze.

Shivering, I lay her in her six-foot crib.

She sucks in a deep breath of dirt and air and wails. My ears bleed.

The crows unearth Madeleine and carry her to their nest in the bell tower.


Maria Balbi (she/her) is an Argentinean Psychologist living in Buenos Aires with a grumpy cat named Benito and has a tendency to indulge in Dulce de Leche and the dark depths of the soul in equal proportions. Can be found on Twitter @alejandrabalbi9