Jolly Jane

This poem was prepared for the Into the Darkness Radio Show set to air on March 18th. The topic: Irish Serial Killers (fitting for St. Patty’s Day, no?) I researched Jane Toppan. Before her death, she claimed to have murdered more than one hundred sick and elderly in her care, although she was found not guilty for reasons of insanity for thirty counts of murder. Please be forewarned this poem contains adult themes. I hope you enjoy this real-life horror poem.

Lay down with me
My Jolly Jane, My Jolly Jane, My Jolly Jane
Erotic shock, It’s not that strange.

Caressing charges
dull the pain.
A spoonful more of medicine.

Father’s needle’s out again
My Jolly Jane, My Jolly Jane
Stitch us up we don’t behave.

Kisses in comas
dull the pain.
A spoonful more of medicine.

Indentured Italian maid
My Jolly Jane, My Jolly Jane
Name swap to regal Toppan.

Lying with the dying
dulls the pain.
A spoonful more of medicine

Too wide a girth to make a gain
My Jolly Jane, My Jolly Jane
Morphine mixed with Atropine.

Dating death
dulls the pain.
A spoonful more of medicine.

Feeble men don’t behave
My Jolly Jane, My Jolly Jane
Breath more shallow than a grave.

Strychnine high tide
dulls the pain.
A spoonful more of medicine.

At the trial, her refrain:

“Don’t you want me?
I can clean.
Look at all the love I bring.
If only I had a wedding ring,
I’d never have done these awful things.”

© khartless 2022, All Rights Reserved

17 Comments

    1. Could be a theme, then? Her story hooked me right in. She seemed addicted to near death; bizarre and yet her own childhood horrors seem more likely the cause. Wonder if that’s also true for your local nurse murderess? Thanks for connecting with me here, VJ.

      Liked by 1 person

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