Stephanos Bitsakaki

The Murder

I was stirred from some dream
By the screaming of children—
I listened intently, unalarmed by the sound
And waited for another sign of life

It came, Those unmistakeable shrieks
The chatter of birds,
A quick peek at the forest surrounding
My home and I knew it

I had noticed them sometime
Before, on my walks through these woods.
There was only a pair, at first,
Swirling in circles over some prey,
Then, others came
After some time, a murder

My eyes were shut and
I had forgotten the world,
Hoping to dream once again—
That cold embrace of slumber
Might settle my soul

It was then that I felt
The first sharp scratch of a beak
Puncture my tender flesh—
My body lay frozen
As more beaks followed,
Each stealing more of my life
Than the last

You would think I should have screamed,
Or swatted them away
Yet I remained silent and still,
My lids comfortably closed
To all else in the world

Save for the sounds of the murder
That willed me to rest.

Stephanos Bitsakaki is a Greek-born Glaswegian writer, who graduated in English Literature and Film & Television studies in 2018 from the University of Glasgow where he is currently studying a Masters in Creative Writing. Having worked in almost any field that will pay a wage, he is passionate about politics and social change. A self-professed geek, he spends most of his time on his computer when he isn’t climbing up a mountain with his fiancée.