Halloween Jane

She was a different kind of woman,
The way she shuffled the aisles,
And yet, I remember thinking this,
“It is not a time for smiles.”
Her raven hair, long and stringy,
Cascaded down to her hips,
Her eyes were dark and piercing,
She had a snarl upon her lips,
She kept to herself and me to mine,
A quiet one she appeared to be,
I wanted to talk but dared not,
Until my curiosity got to me,
I tried to be polite and asked her name,
In spite of chills running up my spine,
“My name is Jane,” she said very low,
“and if you want to know, I’m thirty-nine.”
Her words began to spill on out,
Although I was prepared to leave,
“I was homeless for fifteen years,
And I’ve got lots to grieve,”
“The ones I knew got sick and died,
During the time I was mentally ill,
I lived a lot of life those days,
My dreams are filled with it still.”
She paused and wiped tears from her eyes,
“It’s a shame they had to die,”
“But the voices I heard were very plain,
I couldn’t fight them, no, not I.”
I had to ask because I was confused,
“What voices did you hear?”
Her eyes glazed over as she looked away,
“I knew you shouldn’t interfere,
They’re not happy that you should ask,
It’s time you got out of here,
I’m good with pistol and with knife,
There’s nothing I try to hide,
Until someone tests me like this,
I keep my migraines inside,”
I thought it prudent I slip away,
To leave her with her pain,
I tried to watch her from a distance,
But I never got close again,
I saw her arranging her possessions in rows,
And wondered why, but who knows?
I heard her talking to empty air,
Entertaining her guests who weren’t there,
Sometimes she would glare my way,
Mumble a few words and a sound or two,
Shake her head as if to say,
“Maybe not today, maybe not today,”
I’ll never know her tragic story,
Or about her friends who suddenly died,
I’ll never understand her voices,
Who threatened and laughed and cried,
I could not rest with her around,
So without hesitation I left the train,
As soon as it came to the next town,
I’ve since heard rumors of a person in the dark,
Slashing and cutting where lovers park,
Never being anywhere she can be seen,
Perhaps her next encounter will be Halloween.

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