Poem by Anukkriti Poovannan
The bed will be made of feathers, the pillow made of silk,
That’s what I felt when I sat sipping some milk
I was flopped on the old, straight-backed chair
And gave the settling dust a sharp glare
I trudged up the stairs and shuffled to my room
I had no idea why, the house was filled with gloom
I went to the bed and gladly went under the cover
Getting comfortable, feeling like nothing could wake me, ever
I peacefully drifted off to sleep, as I was tired out
And of the howling wind, I worried but naught
But these soft words I heard distinctly over the roaring gale,
“Sing sweet nightingale, sing sweet nightingale….”
I sat bolt upright, sleep broken by the song
I was quite surprised, all of it sounded wrong
I stepped out of bed and tiptoed out
It was coming from upstairs, no doubt
Upstairs in the attic, was a piano, broken and old
Extremely dusty and teeming with mould
I was startled as I heard a melody from the keys
Of that old, old piano, oh, goodness me!
I padded up the stairs to the attic, stealthy as a cat
And stepped but softly on the welcome mat
Kept a hand on the doorknob and it quietly creaked
At this point I was afraid, my voice quietly squeaked
It was enough, it was a cue for escape
As the stranger was soundless, quiet and caped,
With a swish and a flick, and a small flash of light
The stranger was gone, leaving me shivering in fright
I made my way back to my room
And I felt like I could feel my upcoming doom
I stared as a shadow rose above my head
Its eyes like glowing embers, luminous and red
A scream escaped my throat as I jumped out of bed
If it wasn’t for my feet, I’d be long dead
They carried me to the yard and I waited there
For me to recover slowly from my scare.
My feet rested on the wet grass,
But it felt like they were on heated brass
I thought it was now safe to go back in
But then that plan went straight to the bin.
A trail of smoke made its way out
My throat dried, it felt like a drought.
It emerged from the window opened wide,
and towards me it began to glide.
Slowly but surely, it made its way to me
And I was already having cold feet, you see
I snapped into place and broke into a run
Boy, was i glad for the midnight Sun.
The moon, it provided enough light
The creature behind me wasn’t going without a fight
So I ran straight into the isolated street
My bare feet ran on the cold concrete.
After what felt like forever, I finally stopped
But when I turned around, my heart dropped
The thing was right behind me, staring at me quietly
It moved towards me, ever so slightly.
I took a step back, and entered a convenience store,
And saw something that coincided with a lore
SALT! My mind yelled in glee
and I used it to make the smoke flee
I knew that it would not be long gone,
But once I reached home, I heard the song
The sound of a steadfast , yet quiet male,
“Sing sweet nightingale, sing sweet nightingale…”