They laid her out at Hattons cross,

They’d took her there by cart;
Her face a festered maggots cradle

A stake of Ash thrust through her heart.

 

They laid her head out to the west,

Her legs towards the East.
Her arms were left above the ground;

For the feral fox to feast.

 

They knew she’d come back if she could;

They couldn’t take their chances.

She’d took her life, a blasphemy,
In blackened circumstances.

 

Her livid soul would be a coming,

It would not pass to rest.
And she would animate her bones

In soil that was unblessed.

 

They pulled her teeth, sowed her lips,

Rubbed clover on her heels.

They took her nails and cold entrails,

And shut her eyes with silver seals.

 

They gathered round a salted circle,

And chanted bible verse.

Crossed themselves, then spat on the dirt

Protection from her curse.

 

Then they would slink back to the village

And close their windows tight.

Their garlic doors a bolted,
Their candles flamed a bright.

 

And now out there at Hattons Cross,

The fox’s hide and shake.
For at the place where Nelly lays

The ground is empty. She’s awake.

Hattons Cross

by Armand Hood