Happy 38th Birthday Son

The bravest thing I ever did

Was continue to live

The day you died

Those who see me now

Will never know

The pain I’m in

Or the grief I battle

Each and every day

In a multitude of ways

They can not see

My heart

Ripped and torn

Thinking about

The day you were born

They can not see

My tortured mind

Tangled up

In the ties that bind

A mother to her son

They can not see me

When I’m driving along and

Your favorite song comes on

A memory flashes

The tears freely flow

I see your smiling face

I hear your voice

I reach out to hug you

But you’re only a vapor

Drifting around in my mind

If I seem distant to others

It’s because I am

A part of me

Has left this place

It is gone forever

My heart

Is wherever you are

Happy Birthday Derreck

Love, mom

E.A. Fussell


In loving memory of my son Timothy Derrreck Howard

04/15/1983 – 01/20/2021

Senseless provocation


Why should one persons life

Be considered

More valuable than another

Why should one persons death

Be considered more atrocious

Than another

Life is intrinsically valuable

Regardless of what an individual

Chooses to do with it

Regardless of the circumstances

An individual is born into

Death is atrocious

Regardless of it’s circumstances

Or cause

Death is a wicked thief

Always stealing something

From someone

Be it the dead

Or those left alive

Who have to deal with

The death of the dead

Time slips away as

Emotions spin out of control

For what

All of the screaming

All of the crying

All of the love

All of the hate

Will not bring one soul back to life

Will not right the wrong

Why do we allow death to matter

So much

Especially if we are strangers

To the dead

Death is inevitable, unavoidable

Life is avoided

If we are preoccupied

With death

Let the dead bury the dead

Let the living make a better life

E.A. Fussell


White Sneakers

The box lid opened

I lay there in wonder

What the hell am I doing

I should be six feet under

They didn’t listen

When I said no funeral

They dressed me up

Put me on display

Now here I lay

Looking at my feet

Trying not to see

The people

Peering in at me

Why didn’t they come see me

When I was alive

Even if it was

A very long drive

Nope, I can’t do this

Too many faces

Too many years

Too many tears


I will focus on my feet

Who the hell picked my shoes

I would rather see my toes

White sneakers

The worst color

They’ll be dirty way too soon

One good thing that I see

No laces

That suits me

I wonder what will happen

If i just get up and go

How will any of these people

Ever even know

Come on sneakers

It’s time to go

It’s a weird thing

To see yourself

Lying in a coffin

Your loved ones gathered in one place

This doesn’t happen often

A twinge of anger

Or is it regret

As I drift upward

And try to forget



That’s good right

Come on sneakers

Let’s go toward the light

The light seems to be fading

We’ve got to run fast

I understand why I’ve got on

White sneakers at last

Run sneakers run

Let nothing get in our way

Hurry up sneakers

We get to see God today

E.A. Fussell


(Poetry exercise, topic: sneakers)