Author Feature - May 2020

Poetry has been my passion since childhood. I am a sensitive and enthusiast writer who explores feelings about people, nature  and time. I do not live to write, but can not live without writing. It was my good fortune to study poetry with David Ignatow at Co lumbia University where I earned a Master of Arts Degree.  One of the most interesting and rewarding experiences in  my life was being an exchange student on a farm in Denmark. I  am still close to the family and have seen them often over the ​

years. I have written many poems about this experience which  opened new doors on my perspective of life. ​

 As a young mother of two children I would often stay up  late at night writing poetry, a habit that has persisted until this  day many years later. When the children went to school I taught  elementary and middle school and created an American Colonial  History Curriculum for the fifth grade. ​

 In retirement I taught ESL to Guatemalan immigrants. I  have an adopted grandchild from Guatemala, plus five others.  My four books are on Amazon under Jane H Fitzgerald. My  latest book, Notes From the Undaunted, is the most meaningful  to me . The description explains why. The man in the book  is my husband. This is a serious topic, but cancer affects so  many people that the book has had a positive response. I am  grateful if my writing can help others not to feel alone in their  struggles. ​

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He's a solitary silhouette ​

on a windswept point  ​

Weighted by the crucible  ​

of an illness like a howling tempest  ​

The roiling sea and craggy boulders ​

are like vivid images of his inner self  ​

Rough paintings of a rugged path  ​

Blind fate has thrust upon him  ​

He stands alone unflinching  ​

Braced against the gusting gale  ​

Divining his destiny 


It's the morning before Christmas We ​

are frantically racing to the ER A ​

white coat settles us in a tiny cubicle ​

Adjacent to a criminal in shackles ​

guarded by two laconic policeman ​

In haste we had abandoned ​

a colorful holiday table ​

Never to be graced by guests ​

It could be any day in the ER ​

For us it was to have been  ​

A celebration of togetherness  ​

Instead it's tubes and beeps ​

Waiting, endless waiting ​

Can they bring us back from the edge ​

Did we notify all the guests ​

Did we turn the oven off 

The chained man is escorted ​

By an armed blue suit  ​

for a bathroom break​

We are held tightly captive by ​

One plastic bag after another ​

Dripping drops of hope toward  ​

Another phantom holiday ​

Fate suspended from a pole ​

Results slowing emerging  ​

The agony of not knowing ​

Did we lock the front door ​

Is the dog in her ​

crate ​

Will the IV revive or drown ​

us Did we turn the TV off ​

What will the guests do ​

Their planned day is empty​


Ours is full of excruciating ​

anxiety Emanating like static from ​

a radio Pulsating in the cubicle ​

Flooding the sterile shiny halls ​

The grim man is unshackled  ​

Discharge papers in hand ​

We are finally let go, ​

released But not to freedom  ​

The test results command ​

Return in two days ​

The ER is waiting​


The sun rose glowing once ​

again The newspapers arrived ​

on time The comforting smell of ​

coffee  ​

Floated through the rooms ​

All was right with the world  ​

When without warning  ​

A warring Invader  ​

Entered our souls and ​

bodies Unwilling to ​

acknowledge it We ​

attempted ignorance Its ​

persistent presence  ​

Pounded our minds ​

No mountain of wishing ​

Could expel this evil ​

stranger Its strength and ​

malignancy Forced us to ​

struggle ​

We were exposed ​

Brutally vulnerable as if ​

Chained at gunpoint or ​

Lost on a shrouded battlefield  ​

Our days transformed into an ​

unending contest  ​

Against a virulent enemy within ​

Hope was like reaching for a star ​

Our mornings rose with sorrow ​

Our evenings faded in fear Life ​

will never, ever again  Be the ​

simple enjoyment of just ​

mornings with ​

the radiant sunrise ​

coffee ​

and ​

newspapers ​


Time is impartial  ​

It just happens​

Events are random ​

They strike without warning ​

It's our reactions ​

That determine the day ​

Can we handle the  ​

Success or disappointment  ​

Are we the oak or the willow  ​

An organism is only as ​

healthy as its ability to change ​

to endure, persevere ​

That's survival ​

That's what we face ​

Moment by moment ​

With or without ​

Consciousness  ​

Until the earth ​

Marks its claim​