Keep Fighting

Come on, keep fighting.
Don’t give up.
Life was meant
to be this tough.
It’s not that easy
to have it all.
To rise above,
you must take the fall.
To read and write
is to live and learn.
To love and care
is to touch and burn.
To have a choice
is to know to choose.
To have something to gain
there must be something to lose.
To appreciate the gift
you must nurture the object.
To pass the class
you must study the subject.

1993 Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Expressions, June 9, 1994 Issue, page 4,
in Expressions, July 12, 1993 Issue, page 2,
and in J.O.B.S. Newsline, April, May, June 1993 Issue, page 4)
(by the grace of God)
This poem was my 1st assignment for the campus newspaper at my 1st college for my A.A. I was surprised at the response. The Editor made a note about the beautiful poem and my talent. Students and professors said it was beautiful, some asking for an autograph. I admit I laughed because I had never been asked before and thought they were teasing. Some I had been in class with for awhile and were good friends with. I was quickly made to understand I was mocking them. Praise the Lord to sign put a smile back on their face. They were extra thankful when I gave permission to hang the poem on their fridge, mirror, and other places. I was shocked! Most surprising was everyone calling it BEAUTIFUL. It was a last minute assignment, and I felt like I “just done enough” to get it in. God is so good! And so surprising!

Behind The Degree

Look there,
behind the degree.
Oh what a joy,
a whole new me.
A future, a plan,
a way to survive.
A way of succeeding
and feeling alive.
Supporting myself,
my family to be,
behind the door
of my promising.
What things I want.
What things I entice.
Oh the luxuries
will feel so nice.
For even with
the bills to pay,
I see a day
my work is play.
Behind the door
A little degree
creates the wonder,
a whole new me.

1993 Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Expressions, May 3, 1993 Issue, page 9)
(by the grace of God)
This was also written for a campus paper assignment that everyone loved so much. (See previous note on my poem Keep Fighting). God was making a whole new memory for me (I’ll explain that someday in a blog), and making so many people smile! How many times God blessed my ears with, “This encouraged me just when I needed it so much. Thank you for writing this!” Being thanked for writing? I LOVED writing! 🙂

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.

Teach

Teach: teach the children,
how to love,
how to live,
how to be happy.
Let them shine and be themselves.
And teach them to take pride in themselves.
Help them to succeed and excel,
and above all else… love themselves.

Teach: teach the teen-agers,
to be great for themselves,
to be a great leader for the future generations,
as they are the only ones children and teen-agers of the future have to rely on,
to count on.
Teach them respect.
To have it and to give it.
Elders may expect too much sometimes,
but they have the right to expect something.
Maybe a little humanity,
maybe a little love,
maybe a little respect in return.
What’s wrong with that?
That had to respect others too once,
and learned the secret of respect for themselves along the way.

Teach: teach the adults,
to let a child learn,
to let a teen-ager go,
to let a grown man or woman live their own life,
to let a day go by without bickering,
arguing,
expectations,
especially those too high,
to love a child,
small or grown,
for everything,
mistakes and all,
bad days and good,
bad habits,
addictions,
unexpected pregnancies,
dying from disease,
or living off the world,
living on the edge.
Teach them the world is not against them,
not even the young adults of the world.
As a matter of fact teach them how loved and admired they truly are.
Teach them to appreciate, being able to care for someone who actually cares about them,
and someone caring about them that they actually care about.

Last of all, but certainly not least.
Teach: for God’s sake (and I do mean for God)…
teach the world to get along,
to love one another,
to be a team,
a family,
a loving sector for the human animals to survive in.
Teach them to feed off of love and give up the hatred,
the greed,
the sick abuse going on in the world,
to quit being so morbid.
If we’re going to survive,
we need to learn to live together,
in peace.
If we’re all going to live together in this world,
we need to give a little love.
Teach: teach the world of God.
Teach the world of love.
Just teach the world.

4-8-1994 Friday
Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Flight magazine # 3, Spring of ’94, pages 105-107)
(by the grace of God)
This was also used by a woman of some National Woman’s group to open all of her speeches that year, but I could never find out who, other than her name was Gail also. My friends told me in excitement of hearing her read it and saying she wish she could meet me! God used me!

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.

Did He Try

“Gasp…”,
he heard her cry at night.
He jumped out of his bed
to see that she was alright.
She was holding her hand over her chest,
agony upon her face.
He pulled her close with great concern,
but held her with such grace.
Her eyelids closed as she glared at him
with fear behind her eyes,
but his heart went out to her with ache,
for his love felt through the disguise.
He gently laid her head upon
his shirt right off his back,
then ran so quickly to the phone
to report her heart attack.
He then returned to her side
and held her in his arms.
Hiding his tears to give her strength,
he waited for the sound of alarms.
They needed no more than see them
and knew that she had died.
How would they tell the man who loved her,
it was a waste that he even tried?

10-2-1990 Tuesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Expressions, May 24, 1993 Issue, page 2)
(by the grace of God)
This was poem won over a layout Editor that was very much a stickler and a gruff on purpose. She told me so with a smile after she read this poem while typing into the campus paper. She told me she knew that I didn’t plagiarize it like a lot of people were doing since I sat down in front of them and wrote it for a needed fill in. She said I was real and talented, and almost made her cry. I was glad she didn’t really hate me. 🙂