Agony Over the Eagle

There’s a pain of agony that just can’t be understood,
When a teenager takes a shotgun
and blows it through his mouth and out his ear.
No one can explain the tragic event,
Or know what he was thinking.
All we can know is that it happened.
And when it did it took the one we loved so much.
I don’t know why he did it, but I wish I could take it back.
I wish it was just a nightmare,
A nightmare that no one can bring to reality.
Why did it have to be my cousin?
He was so young and loved.
What could he have possibly been thinking
When he pulled that trigger?
He was so optimistic and had plenty of friends and family,
A beautiful fiance,
and so much that you would have thought he was happy.
But maybe he wasn’t.
It’s so hard to explain a heartache,
And a heartache is hard to handle.
Maybe he just couldn’t handle what he couldn’t explain.
I don’t know.
I just know I love him and miss him so much.
Please give him back.
Forever in agony over the eagle.

2-24-1992 Monday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: Dean. I love you!

Our Loss, Their Gain

She misses him.
He misses her.
So many lives
have been disturbed.
Death is a fact
that none can escape.
It’s much more serious
than a nick or scrape.
Souls are relieved
of their living pain.
In our loss
is their gain.
Jesus awaits
to embrace,
and all the pain
is soon erased.
He extends His arms
to those in mourning.
“You will see them again,
some glad morning.”

8-22-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

The Time Had Run Out

We know you’re gone,
But wish we could have you back.
We know you would if you could,
But we lose again to your attack.

How unfair and cruel it seems
To have lost our reason for living.
It’s hard to adjust to returning
The love you were always giving.

Our children ask about you often.
It’s hard for them to understand.
I try to explain you love them still,
But live in another hand.

Tears of an aching child
Could break the heart of Scrooge.
And when they need your comfort,
Mine is not their refuge.

Oh we know you’re gone,
But wish we could have you back.
We know you would if you could,
But we lose again to your attack.

10-7-1990
Written by Gail Brookshire
PS. We miss you.
(published in Flight, Spring ’95, page 16)
(by the grace of God)

She Grieves

She cries, Lord. She grieves.
She has lost her beloved sister.
They have been sisters for so long.
She is going to miss her.
They have grown, learned,
and survived for so long together.
She wishes it was her turn too,
so they can be together forever.
Such love You well understand,
as You lost dear ones too,
Your dear friend Lazarus
and Your cousin John too.
You wept and grieved
and was broken for Your friends.
You too wanted all well again.
While Lazarus was restored
and returned from the dead,
You did not revive John
because God had other plans instead.
And because I know You know
what she is going through,
I pray that You would have
the Comforter see her through.

2015 written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: My dear friend, Aunt (through Bobby), secret sister, and sister in Christ… Virginia.

Farewell Childhood Friend

Farewell my childhood friend.
It’s time to let you go.
You have been such a comfort,
more than you’ll ever know.
It’s sad seeing you leaving.
I’m sure it must be best.
Life has long been the teacher
that keeps giving us the test.
May you find happiness
in all you venture in.
Take good care of yourself
and don’t forget your friend.

11-5-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)
PS… for someone no longer here 😦

You Were Dear

A sign is left behind
that you were here.
You were loved.
You were dear.
Your life is gone,
Your spirit near.
How we miss
You being here.
We love you brother.
We miss you so.
God is blessed.
This we know.
Hug him for us,
As you wait along.
I hope we won’t
Be too long.

11-5-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)
This was written for my baby brother Charlie who was killed when he was 37 years old. My mom had him 10 months after I was born. I always told everybody he was my 1st birthday present. Some people thought we were twins because we shared the same age for a couple of months each year.
His 2 favorite songs at the time of his death were
I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe, and Long Black Train by Josh Turner

At Your Grave

Beauty in a death of one,
I really loved so much.
Though I’ve been through a lot,
I’ve never hurt as such
A devastating time as this.
It’s really something new.
How can I come to deal with it,
If I don’t know what to do?
All the days we shared together,
All the smiles we gave,
I never knew there’d be a day
I’d stand here at your grave.

8-9-89 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

Knock, Knock

Sitting in my lazy boy,
I suddenly hear a knock.
As I open up the door,
I find a yellow sock.
I look around the corner side
and all around the yard.
I do not see anyone
though I am looking very hard.
A week goes by so suddenly,
I go to watch the news.
They’re talking of a murdered girl
found without her shoes.
Dressed in her yellow shorts,
one of her socks was gone.
Over on my nightstand
lays the other one.
I stare at it so very close.
I go to hold the sock
and all that I can think of
is the day I heard the knock.

7-18-89 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

In The Woods

Help a little girl so scared, running for her life.
The man is trying to catch her, to cut her with his knife.
In the woods there is a ditch which leads her to a fall.
Turning back to find the man, he stands there strong and tall.
With force he takes this little girl and tries to take her best.
Now the little girl’s strength is put to the ultimate test.
She beats, she hits, she takes a swing, trying her best to fight.
But since his strength overwhelms, her weakness is the night.
This man rises up from her and draws the knife to kill.
You cannot wake this little girl lying there so still.
7-17-89 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)
I use to write about “this little girl” in many different ways without even thinking about it until a counselor I had years ago pointed it out, asking me if I would change the endings to a happy ending. I told him, “No. Because then it wouldn’t be beautiful any more.” He told me it was unhealthy to romanticize death. So I made a deal with him to write some new ones giving her a happy ending. He then starting giving me challenges to write about other things.
Now years later, I experience such fear just reading one line. They feel so evil. I was encouraged not too long ago to continue to share them, partly as a testimony as to what God did even in my writing, and to think about why they scare me so, and why I wrote them. So as I add my poetry onto the computer once again, you will see them. I still experience great discomfort in going over them… like I will pay for it. Whatever the Lord asks of me, I want to obey. Lord willing, He will help me to understand their significance. Lord willing, He will remove that fear.

He Lifted His Glass To Toast

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our meeting.”
He had made our enchantment special
with alcohol as our greeting.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to my bride.”
He made another memory
with alcohol at our side.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our night.”
He made a night to cherish
with alcohol in our sight.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our son.”
He made a vow of fatherhood
with alcohol on his tongue.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our girl.”
He made another vow for life
with alcohol in our world.

He lifted his glass to toast,
he said, “Here’s to our life.”
He made his last night memorable
with alcohol as his wife.

For when he went to raise his glass,
he said, “Here’s to each day”
Then dropped his glass to the floor.
Alcohol took him away.

So as we lift a glass to toast,
these words on his grave are read:
“He lifted his glass to toast.
Here’s to all he said.”

8-22-1990 Wednesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Flight #3, Spring ’94, pages 109-110, and Flight, Spring ’95, page 13)
(by the grace of God)
A lot of people constantly thanked me for writing this poem, assuming this was my story. I actually wrote it to show my disgust in what alcohol was doing to families. However, alcohol did have its unfortunate grip on some of my family too.

He Needs a Blanket

“We could take him a blanket. To keep him warm, Mom,” the child giggles. “Why else would he need it? But, Mom, you know how cold he gets. If we let him go without a blanket, he’ll get sick. We can’t let him down. Why are you looking at me like that? You look so sad. It’s o.k., Mom. All we have to do is take him a blanket. It’ll be all right.What do you mean he’s gone?” The child smiles and cheerfully continues. “No, he’s not. He’s just asleep, but he needs a blanket. Let’s take his favorite one, the blue one. He’ll love us for it. No, he’s not, Mom. He’s not gone. Come on, I’ll show you where he is. Don’t forget his blanket.”
The mother takes the child to her brother. The child jumps out of the car and runs eagerly to her brother’s side. She spreads out the blanket, on the ground, covering every inch of the freshly dug dirt. She talks to her brother.
“Hey, Brad. I thought about how cold you must be and talked mom into letting me bring you a blanket. She wasn’t going to let me at first, but I told her you would need it. Look, it’s your favorite one, the blue one. I remembered how you said it always kept you warm. Oh and look… shhhh… don’t tell Dad, but I snuck his big blue pillow to you, too. Remember how you always waited for Mom and Dad to leave every morning, just to savor an extra hour or two of laying your head on it? You always said it made you feel better. I hope it makes you feel better now. I can’t believe they left you out here to freeze. They know how cold you get. If you get sick and die, I’ll never forgive them. I love you, Brad. I miss you so much. Please come home soon.”
The mother, with her head hung low, stands beside her child. As tears roll down her cheeks, she wonders how she’ll ever help her child to understand she’ll never see her brother again because he’s already dead.

12-11-1992 Friday
Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Flight, Spring ’95, page 45)
(by the grace of God)
This little short story was written when I had lost a dear 19 yr old cousin to suicide.
I had no idea at the time that so many of the details would be so relatable to the loss of my baby brother who was killed 16 years later at the age of 37.