She stirred and before she properly awoke, she sensed they were there,
Shifting shapes swam on the ceiling,
Their constitution nothing but swirls of sooty smoke.
She listened to their whispers and knew one day she would be the same,
Their path was blocked, that was all,
With tenderness she willed them on to their next.
Another time she stirred from her slumber ill at ease,
The acrid smog oozed from the walls,
It ran down the paint and slithered by her side.
She listened to its husks as it dripped poison in her ear,
Changing form it flitted between the faces she knew.
She thought of love and banished its black soul.
She sat up in a sweat, a dark figure lurked with lantern held high,
It shuffled and creaked and showed her no light,
Instead she saw a vision of unspeakable truths.
She fell back into the grips of flu and fever,
The night gave no mercy,
Not till morning came was she safe again.
The noise roused her from her sleep as it tapped on the window pane,
It’s face looked in and searched the seals for a gap,
Downstairs a record played.
She checked through every door, searched all the spaces,
But there was no one there,
Just the ghost of her childhood and something buried deep.
Sometimes the Shadow People came,
Each a creature of the night with a distinct intent.
Sometimes the Shadow People came and went again.