There were four of them. No one knew
how it started. She was there
alone, silly bitch.
What could you expect?
They didn’t look at her eyes,
but gagged the screaming
with a strip torn from her cotton dress.

Afterwards there was blood
Stood to reason, her being so small.
They couldn’t just leave her –
wouldn’t do that
to an animal. At the shot,
a flock of birds
rose from the tallest tree.

Back home
he wakes in a cold sweat, raving. His wife
is patient, knowing he has seen
nameless horrors. Only the birds
keep witness. Their eyes
are always on him.

*Written for a reading in aid of Amnesty International UK