Exposing What’s Within

A little girl sad and quiet
Leaned against the tree.
She has failed to save her friend
From a violent tragedy.
A life was lost and thrown away
To hide the sinner’s sin.
But God is watching everything
And exposes what’s within.
A hiker comes across the girl,
And can sense what is wrong.
Both the girls lost their fight
Against someone too strong.
The surviving girl is rescued,
And is evidence of the crime.
Justice is given to the man
Who is now serving time.

12.2.19 Monday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: The loss of a friend

Silence, A Hero

A lot of people think that the best way to survive a tragedy is to cry for help, but as some of us learn, silence can be the lifesaver. As a young girl, Jodi Manners entered childhood in tragedy. A maniac grabbed Jodi from the sidewalk she was walking on, threw her into a dark van, and raped her innocent body. He then drove a dagger through Jodi’s arm, begged her to scream for pleasure, and smile when she cried. Continuing to cut her young flesh, the maniac told Jodi to let the evil run out of her wicked body, and laughed as she bled.
After the maniac enjoyed his pleasure of Jodi’s pain, he took her to a place far away and threw her into a room with a bunch of girls.They were crying, bleeding, and some lifeless. They laid all over the place bloody and scared, tied to poles and chained to walls, and begging for mercy. There was no telling how long they had been there or how long this had been going on.
Soon after seeing this and being a part of this continuous nightmare, Jodi noticed the violent torture always occurred when the maniac would rape his victims and become outraged when they screamed. He always told them, “You sound like a whore when you beg for my touch.” Then he would torture them until they stopped screaming; even if it meant death. It was something Jodi found it hard to “get use to.”
Finally one day, when the maniac dragged Jodi outside where he had slaughtered some of the young girls, he tied her to a tree and told her she was next. Jodi noticed her hands were slipping from the rope and prayed inwardly for a chance to run. As the maniac laid the shovel he was digging her grave with down and turned to pick up the bodies of the other girls, Jodi grabbed for the shovel and swung it into the back of his head and ran. She didn’t look back to see if he was dead or anything.
Jodi made it to safety far away and was picked up off the streets by the law. After growing up in a group home, Jodi healed on the outside and grew on the inside, alone. She never told anyone about the tragedy; instead she excused her scars as abuse from a home from which she ran away.
Some people would think Jodi needed to open up and tell someone about the tragedy she completely understood, but in this incident, Jodi is the only one who understands the cost of crying for help. So don’t always assume that counseling is the best thing for everyone because if the only thing that can harm someone is opening up about something only they know, it’s better off left alone as the owner’s secrets to deal with.

1-15-1993
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: Narrative assignment for professor and friend S.J.
There was a mutual profound silence after her remarks regarding this paper meant as a challenge to me because I was a silent person. I was surprised by the unique friendship I found in her supportive silence. I had no idea she thought so much of my writing.

Deadly Treason

Tragedy in a heart so young.
So filled with faith and trust.
Given to the prince of thieves
To be murdered by the poisoned arrow.
Life is not of any just.
Weeping willows cry with the wind,
To know the soul is dead.
The young lady fell in love,
And lost her life and heart to her head.
Scars are not too traceable,
For the wounds were never of being.
The king gave the great command
And she never even felt the bleeding.
Graved within a graveyard bed,
The bones rot to make escape
Of the heartless tragedy reigning
That the king and queen had made.

3-22-1992 Saturday
Written by Gail Brookshire
PS. This was before I only thought of One King!
God is my hero!

DEAN

Dean,

Your death was more than we were ready for,

it happened in such a hurry.

I wonder what caused you pain.

What would make you worry?

Your whole family was stricken with heartache

and destroyed by your deed.

What would make a loving heart

want to see his heart bleed?

Your friends were all horrified

to know that you would make

a decision to take your life,

knowing their hearts would break.

Can’t you find an antidote

to cure our ailing souls?

Without you to reassure us,

our world just doesn’t seem whole.

Find a moment in your new found home

to think of us and know

we’re waiting for that day to come

when heaven lets us go.

7-2-91 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

What I Saw Today

It was horrible, what I saw today.
I’ve never seen a child die crying.
How cruel the world has become
to know a child’s death is from no one trying.
So small and fragile, a lifeless child
lying in its mother’s arms.
When such a terrifying thing happens,
it’s not surprising that it alarms.
This child had died crying for food,
and its mouth had frozen while open.
When I saw this on the media,
I couldn’t move I was so frozen.
What has happened to this world?
And why have we become so cold?
Our hands are not suppose to kill babies.
They’re made, with love, to hold.
I can’t forget this episode.
It was something I wish had not happened.
But I know we have to do something
because these children are what really matter.

4-24-91 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

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

Through Hands That Bleed

God is a very caring man,
who is so very patient and warm.
He understands His children
and comforts them in His arms.
He stretched those arms on His Son,
across the world and died.
And then He asked only for all to love Him.
For this, I’ve cried.
A man gave His Son to die.
His Son died for me.
What more could you ask for from anyone
when love is all you need?
Oh please reevaluate
the life you’ve chosen to lead.
God is waiting to give us life and love
through His Son’s hands that bleed.

10-6-91 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

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.

Crying For Him

Rejected by the people You love.
Rejected by Your own family.
Mocked and laughed at
in Your times of trouble.
Heartless to Your broken heart.
How cruel to see them laugh
as You simply cry for them.
This is what we do to God,
our Creator, Redeemer, Father.
Yet we are quick to judge Him
cruel if He does the same to us,
after we have chosen to reject Him.
How ironic that we say we don’t
need Him for anything,
yet the thing we need most
is His compassion in our distress.
Crying against Him or
crying for Him?
I cry, Abba Father. I love you!

6-4-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)

Breaking & Entering

The crime was simple. The loss was hard.
He took some jewels, but gave his heart.
He entered the home that he thought was vacant.
He never expected for them to be waiting.
But when he picked the lock and opened the door,
He made his way inside to something even more.
An older man had heard the noise and came to investigate.
He saw the shadow at the door and didn’t hesitate.
To the dresser drawer he ran and pulled the revolver out,
Walked back to the living room and aimed without a doubt.
They took him to the emergency room, but it wasn’t of any use.
They called his wife to inform, that’s when I got the news.

1990 Written by Gail Brookshire
(published in Expressions, May 24, 1994 Issue, page 6)
(by the grace of God)
This poem was written at a time I was trying to understand why people I grew up with were getting into committing crimes. I wrote the last part with 3 intentions.
1. So none of my friends thought I was trying to glorify what they did in a poem.
2. To make sure no on else would think I was into doing that.
3. My effort to be sympathetic to the mothers and grandmothers of my friends who were trying to get my friends to quit committing crimes.

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.

Oh Cloud Riding By

Oh, Cloud riding by, floating at such ease,
Have you seen things to please and displease?
Have you seen many sorrows? Were you the guilty cloud?
Were you the one who arrived so violent and loud?
Were you the one who destroyed so many souls?
Were you the one that just had no control?
Or were you the one that rushed the other one or two?
Bringing peace and calm as you came to the rescue?
Were you the one to save the day and many souls as well?
What would be your many secrets that you could tell?
Would we want to know or are we better off now
Not knowing those horrible things anyhow?
Oh, Cloud that’s passing by without a troubled way,
Please tell the dangerous clouds to please stay away!

5-26-11 Written by Gail Brookshire
(by the grace of God)
This poem was written during Tornado Out break season of 2011. In April alone there were over 300 tornadoes, of which 62 hit our state in one weekend. These same storms killed several people before heading our way. My son and I were very active in our local church, his bible college, and different ministries, which included nursing homes. There were times we had to seek emergency shelter, yet also times we had to keep singing to help distract residents because it’s impossible to “get everyone’s head down” when they can’t even get out of bed or walk. One service had 4 tornadoes reeking havoc outside while the Pastor kept preaching on John 14… Let not your heart be troubled.

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.