Lifetime Lost

Burning bitterness from the anger

buried deep inside

imagined persecution precedes

frantic search to hide.

Wrong choices and mistakes

I've far too many made

shoulders slump from mountains carried

each on each other, laid.

Reigns of my mind slipped

into strange master's control

torment like static clings

to invade my fragile soul.

Escalated anxiety pressed

into each fleeting year

hope deferred to doubt

under a lifetime lived in fear.

The shadow of confusion

lost certainty of any kind

as more than a lifetime lost

in my quest for peace of mind.

—  © Janet Goven

Janet Goven

Janet Goven

Was featured in

The Drury Gazette SPRING 2018


April / May / June

A Tribute to Rita Kerlin
My December Friend

 I’m sure you will agree that attitude plays an important role in how you live your life. I don’t think it is ever too late to cultivate a good, healthy attitude. It will be a positive factor in the quality of life you have and the endurance of it.

 This is a story about a woman in the December years of her life who had a great attitude. After having a successful marriage, raising six children, including a set of twins, she became a librarian. She worked in her local library for years. Being a widow now, and because of the illness she had, it became impossible for her to care for herself and live at home. Rather than becoming a burden to any of her children, she convinced them that the best thing for her to do, would be to live in a nursing home.

 Thus, began her stay at the nursing home where I work. A real plus for anyone who met her, staff and residents alike. She easily became everyone’s dear friend, making herself available and offering help to anyone at any time, in any way that she could.

 She brought with her worlds of information, words of wisdom, willing hands, a compassionate heart, a listening ear, and tons of encouraging words. She had it all!

 You can take it from someone who knows firsthand what knowing this woman could do for you. She befriended me immediately and we both knew that we had a wonderful understanding of each other. She took me under her wing with much patience and encouragement. She was totally sincere, believing in what she saw in me, what she knew I stood for. We became fast friends. She contributed to and participated in all my activities. Her family was still very involved in her life. They would take her out regularly and bring things back to be used at the home. Being a retired librarian, she even brought me a book from the library listing all the places a beginning poet could submit their work. What a book it was! This began my life as a published writer.

 Today, because of her influence in my life, and as a direct result of it, I am a published, prize winning poet. She helped me to believe in myself and to take the gift that God had given me and to go with it.

 I can only tell you that this woman who came to us believing that you live every day that you are given, touched my life. She started this woman in the September years of her life, on a journey that will take her through her December years.

 Amazing, isn’t it? At the tender age of eighty-three, people could still be found who want to thank her. Perhaps more than we helped her through the years, she has helped us. Rita believed that it is never too late to help someone along the way.

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