Category Archives: Poetry

Firsts and Lasts


The first time I held you in my arms
The first time your eyes saw mine
The first steps you took, your first smile and first tooth
Your very first day at school.

I remember them all with tears and with smiles
Those days will never come back.
I cherish them and remember some well
With photos and papers and keepsakes.

But I remember too some bittersweet lasts,
Though they’re not written in your book
They aren’t quite as clear and sometimes I missed them
In the demands of the everyday pace.

The last time I read you a bedtime story
The last time we said your prayers
The last time you kissed me when you left the car
The last time I signed a card.

The last time I wiped away a tear of pain,
The last time we spoke harsh words
The last time you packed up your belongings
To move to your very own place.

My motherhood role has been folded away
I will never wear it again.
Our places are changed and our dreams are all full
Of remembrances instead of hopes.

But the new hope I have is an unspoken one
That the memories we keep will be real
And the love that formed the foundation we have
Will last through the years that remain.

And when we say our last goodbye
The tears that you shed will be sweet
For you’ll know that I will be watching you
Till we meet again in God’s arms.


Jane 2007

GONE

Gone –suddenly,

Snatched from this earthly plain.

No time for goodbyes, plans, last thoughts

In a twinkling, gone.

Shock – unavoidable,

Pain of loss and unsaid words,

No chance to savor, thank, forgive

Like echoes, dust beams, haze barely seen.

I know logically,

This is what you would choose.

No suffering, no gradual decline.

You leave well-remembered, in your prime.

But how it hurts

We left behind to mourn,

Pick up the shattered that cannot be mended,

Hold onto what cannot be encompassed.

We can only honor you by

Holding tighter to those yet here,

Cherishing and choosing with much better care

And looking past this pain to the eternal.

Jane 2012

Out of Egypt

I’m a princess of Egypt –
My mother was the Queen of Denial.
She ruled her domain
With a scepter of shame
Kept her dignity all the while.

The rules of the kingdom
Not spoken at all
Kept the terror of truth at bay:
Daddy’s not drunk
He’s asleep on the floor
The wolf is not at the door.

It didn’t really happen
If you don’t talk about it.
You are just like everyone else.
The pain that you feel will just go away
If you keep it all to yourself.

Don’t talk about it,
Don’t think about it,
Don’t do anything at all.
Keep it inside,
Hold it inside,
Your home is in Egypt’s wall.

But I heard a story
Said I could be free
If I opened my heart to the truth.
Told all the tales
Let out my fears
And regrets of my wasted youth.

But I’m not going home anymore
Egypt’s a dream I don’t need
There’s freedom to be had
When I let it all go
And face every day unafraid.

And I’m gonna talk about it,
I’m gonna think about it,
I’m gonna do what needs to be done.
Gonna let go of pain,
Won’t live there again,
‘Cause Egypt’s no longer my home!

Jane ‘05
(this is about recovering as a co-dependent)

What can we offer

What can we offer to those who come after?

Stories of battle and victory?

Triumphant shouts and accolades?

Treasures retrieved and dragons destroyed?

Sometimes, it seems that the song that I sing

Is more of a dirge than a dance.

The smallest of joys seems forged from great pain

And defeat seems a constant refrain.

The lessons seem to say that happiness is snatched

From the teeth of a merciless beast:

To take for the moment the juice that is there

Lest someone else take it away.

But if I change the view from my analytical chair

To a wider and longer perspective,

I see I have a bigger part

Than the walk-on role in this play.

And little decisions and actions I take

Have an influence on time’s river course

And thought that I use to contain or express

Is noticed, is rewarded, is blessed.

And the child that I teach or the friend I encourage

Can multiply the fruit of my work

If I just keep planting and trusting the One 

Who will gather all things in His time.

Jane 9/2010

Disappearance

It’s sad to see you disappear

Slowly fading away

I hardly noticed it at first

The barest hint of gray.

The words you spoke were not so firm

Your laughter slightly absurd.

You looked past me when we spoke

As you seemed to ponder each word.

The change was oh so slow —

I thought I’d accommodated.

I thought I had learned to accept

This different way we related.

But you slipped ever further away

I could not hold you in place.

We were strangers who barely touched

Till you no longer saw my face.

I grieve the past and the future

Find it hard to enjoy the today

It’s easier to never approach

It’s easier to walk away.

But I open my heart to the pain

Seek patience to carry through.

And long for the day when once more

You will be the real you.

Jane  2006  

Like Jesus


Give me a heart like Jesus’
One that is wholly devoted to God.
Give me a voice like Jesus’
That echoes compassion and love
Give me eyes like Jesus’
That see beyond the shame and fear
Make me like Jesus.

I want to reflect your image oh God
The way you intended it to be.
I want to be your hands and your feet
Bringing your kingdom to all that I see.

Give me ears like Jesus’
Hearing beyond the anger and pose
Give me a mind like Jesus’
Discerning the truth from lies
Shining the light in the darkness
Make me like Jesus.

Jane 2020