Out of Character

My life is going so fast,
And my pace is going so slow.
School is suppose to be my educator,
But little do they know.
They crowd my sense of identity,
And take away my-self.
They ask me to be a part of class,
But are offended by any help.
They ask me to share my experiences
And let us all grow from them,
But what they really want
Is a chance to make “nothing” of them.
Everyone in college is so sure they know it all,
As if they came to teach.
But it’s only the instructors who know the material,
But only for what they preach.
It’s just so hard
To get them all on a level
That everyone can comprehend
Without having to be so clever.

4-16-1993
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: SJ

Trapped Inside a Writer

She’s a writer, but she’s trapped inside.
She wants to get out, but it all just hides.
Her feelings are her emotions, but her emotions her feelings.
She can’t just forget them, they’re still healing.
What she can’t share, she wants to so much.
But she’s so afraid of that painful touch.
What if she didn’t survive? What if she couldn’t make it?
What if her heart was broken, she just couldn’t take it?
She would hurt. She would die.
Just to let you in, she could cry.
It’s such a risk to take the chance.
She’s so in love, but afraid of romance.
What if she trusted you and then felt the pain?
The wedge of the knife would drive her insane.
Just give her time, she’ll someday speak.
She’s dying to share with you, but she’s just too weak.

3-26-1993 Friday
Written by Gail Brookshire

The Love Within a Child

The love within a child before he has seen tragedy and after may seem to be different, but it is very much the same. He is the same child in body, but his mind has gained knowledge.

Before a child is introduced to trauma, his love is strong, pure, and unable to destroy. He feels free enough to run through a field barefooted and carefree.

The child after seeing trauma has strong, pure, and certainly indestructible love. He just runs through the field protected by shoes and prepared for falls.

Also the child before misery enjoys sharing, loving, and laughing. He’ll spend the night with a friend, and gets to know the friend through sharing, loving, and laughing.

The child after misery likes to share, love, and laugh with a friend as well. However, he will take time to get to know his friend first; then, spend the night.

Though the child after tragedy may need or seek counseling to overcome withdrawal and bitterness, he will come to terms with life and learn to live again. His mind may be a little wiser, but his heart is just as tender as the child before.

2-1-1993
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: SJ challenging me to write about persuasion

Maybe It’s Time

Maybe it’s time to quit.
Maybe it’s time to move.
Maybe it’s time to stop believing
I always have to prove.
Maybe it’s useless.
Maybe there’s no point in continuing.
Maybe it’s time to stop the self-abuse
And letting others use me.
Maybe it’s got to stop.
Maybe it’s got to break.
Maybe it’s just the ultimate step
My heart’s been needing to take.
God is there waiting for me,
And He sees everything I’ve done.
It’s time to stop the filthiness.
I only thought I was having fun.
God has been very patient.
God has been very caring.
It’s time to give Him EVERYTHING!!
And STOP this wasteful sharing!
I love you, God!

1-30-1992 Wednesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
God is my hero!

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.

Crying, A Stress Reliever

Crying is such a stress reliever.
Especially when you think it does no good.
For it’s when you feel it’s for no reason,
That it does more than you thought it could.
It helps the hurting lighten up
When you’re too exhausted to breathe.
You feel a lot of tension ease
Just by letting your tears release.

12-28-1992
Written by Gail Brookshire

Life Is Passing Me By

Everything is going, going,
Almost gone.
How can I stop it?
Or just hang on?
I can’t get the message.
The point is so vague.
I can’t figure out
The mistake I’ve made.
What have I done
To lose so much?
What’s taking away
My magical touch?
How can it all
Just fall apart?
I know I can still love.
I feel it in my heart.
Somebody help me.
Saving my dying life.
I just want someone
To break the strife.
Soul searching… help.
I’m quickly getting weak.
I can’t take the emptiness.
My eyes begin to leak.

12-22-1992 Tuesday
Written by Gail Brookshire

To Do a Favor

She once asked me, “Brenda Gail, would you mind to do me a favor?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Oh! How wonderful and so sweet!” she exclaimed, as she gave me a hug. “That is so beautiful!”
“What?” I asked. “To do you a favor?”
“You said yes,” said she. “You just said yes instead of saying what, or what is it. You were willing to do it just because I asked. You weren’t concerned with what you would have to do, and didn’t even stop to think what would happen to you, or what would you get out of it. I asked if you would do me a favor and you just said yes. Thank you. I love you for that. It shows you love me too and that no matter what I ask of you, you would be more than glad to do it, with no questions asked. “Thank you.”
She had such a smile on her face when she said it. I felt so warm. I simply replied, “You’re more than welcome.”

12-21-1992 Monday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: For you, Mrs. Chamberlain. I LOVE YOU!

What Else Could It Be?

Marked by God, am I?
Plagued for love, I only cry.
It’s not the right I have; it’s the way.
It’s for my sin, the price I pay.
Washed away by flowing blood.
What’s the reason we abuse His love?
God is all and all is He.
Why the plague of misery?
He’s the answer; He’s the way.
God is the only thing to say.
We give Him praise; we give Him shame.
When all else fails, we’re to blame.

12-11-1992 Friday
Written by Gail Brookshire

PLAGIARISM

Plagiarism is not the creativity or talent of a person’s writing ability,
But the stealing of a writing or ideas
That are not the creation of the person being given credit for it.
A poem in a magazine may have been the result of plagiarism.
The person who sent it in may have copied it
Out of a book or other magazine,
Just to get the credit for writing it.
A music artist may have produced a song that was plagiarized.
The song would have been credited to the music artist on his or her album,
But was stolen from its original writer.
A motion picture movie may have been the creation of plagiarism.
The film may have been created by the ideas that were stolen
From a writer’s script that had not yet been published.

11-13-1992
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: When my English Professor and friend JS told me and a fellow classmate/writer that I was prolific, I thought she was trying to insult me. She smiled as they both laughed at me, and she explained that she was saying I had innate writing ability. Again I thought she was insulting me.So again they laughed, as she explained that I was born with the natural ability to write in meter, rhyme, and form, even without training. She said it was refreshing to read writing that she knew was not plagiarized. She had to explain that as well. I don’t know who was more surprised… her that I did not know the definition nor that people did that, or me to think anyone would steal someone else’s life experiences or thoughts when they have plenty of their own. She challenged me to write on it.

When I Was Pregnant

When I was pregnant, help came from an unexpected source.
The family I expected to lose was tickled
And eager to help by being there with me through it all.
My friends were there for me as well
By taking me out and listening to me when I needed to talk.
My sister went to all of my doctor appointments,
Became my labor coach, and went to my labor classes.
My grandmother, my mother, and friends
Threw me a baby shower at 8 months pregnant.
When my sister went into the hospital with me,
They would not let her go into the delivery room
Because they had to put me out to do an emergency c-section;
However, I still consider her to have been there all the way.
With the way everyone celebrated in my room for 4 days,
I sometimes wonder if it wasn’t the best thing to ever happen to me.

11-9-1992
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: My English professor J.S. gave me a challenge to write on the best thing to ever happen to me. It was easy to think of my son. I honestly believe God used him to save me and my family from ourselves. We were a very dysfunctional family torn apart in different places. As an unwed teen mom, I thought it was very normal to be disowned by your family, and thought life was only going to harder, thinking even that to be normal. God surprised me! My son Anthoni brought everyone together, and changed our family and our lives forever. People who knows us today, but did not know us then find that hard to believe. That is what God can do with a testimony. God is my hero!

The Bike Ride

When I was a child, I had a horrible experience.
I was racing on a bike, against a little boy,
And my front tire hit his back tire,
And it caused me to turn two flips on the bike.
When I landed, my face hit the pavement,
And my wrist was twisted.
I had a chipped tooth, a swollen and bloody lip,
And my wrist was crushed.
My pinky finger and my wrist bone
Were completely out of place.
My friends had to fasten a belt
Around my neck and under my arm
To help me hold it up because I couldn’t feel a thing.
From there, I was taken to the hospital
And put to sleep to have surgery.
As I woke up, I noticed a cast on my arm
Going from my fingertips up to my shoulder,
And was now in so much pain.
At the last part, while healing, I had to use a coat hanger
To scratch the aggravating itching.

11-9-1992
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: TW challenging me to write about childhood experiences.

My Ideal Vacation

My ideal vacation day is
To be near a beautiful clean lake,
On a grassy green bank,
On a nice hot day,
With a cool wind breezing by,
As I just look across the water and smile.
The scenery warms your heart,
While the sun warms your body.
It is such a peaceful place
To be where there is only natural beauty on earth.
I long for the day I can just meditate
On flowing river water
As the world passes me by.

11-9-1992
Written by Gail Brookshire

Growing Up In the Projects

Growing up in the projects was a challenging matter of surviving,
And still have morals and a heart.
First, you must learn to adapt to the ways you observe and learn.
You have to accept the fact that the reality is you must live here,
And pray you’ll still be alive when and if you can move.
You have to deal with people who are against you,
People who love you but still get you into trouble,
And some people who are just plain troublemakers.
You also have to evaluate for yourself
When it is necessary to break the law,
And when it is important to follow it.
You must learn how to survive and help others,
Along the way and after you make it
Out of the same place that used to hurt you.
Once you are out of the projects,
The most important survival key is for you to decide
If you want to linger on the past,
And be depressed and bitter for the rest of your life,
Or to look at the fact you made it out
And no one but you can send you back,
Unless you let yourself go and give up.

11-9-1992
Written by Gail Brookshire

At 9 Years Old

At 9 years old, I was placed into a children’s home by my parents.
They were quick to trick me and my brothers into staying the night,
Not letting us know it would be for months.
They first took us on a joyride (they said),
And then asked us if we’d like to see a neat place to play.
Once there, then they asked us if we’d like to meet some kids there.
When we went inside, we were introduced to these people,
Who we didn’t know were going to be our house parents,
And they asked us if we would like to spend the night.
Once our parents were gone, around dark,
We were then instructed to go to our rooms,
Cut off the lights, and go to sleep.
We weren’t allowed to leave the light on or have the door cracked.
I was so confused.
My parents had taken me out of a normal home environment,
From my brothers and one sister,
And placed me into the hands of strangers,
Who made me sleep alone, cut off the lights, and go to bed early.
I cried so hard, trying to figure out why my parents left me,
When were they coming back,
Wishing they would hurry,
But most of all, why did they lie to me?
Where were my brothers and sister?

11-9-1992
Written by Gail Brookshire