Mom-mom was my father's mother. She lived in the small town of East Prairie, Missouri, and wrote poems all her life.
My uncle Bob and his wife Maiola have edited a book of her poetry, titled She Lived A Poem, available in trade paperback (Library of Congress control number 200-309-5280).
If you'd like a copy (for yourself, relatives, to donate to your library, church, ...), please send a check for $12 per copy to Robert Berry / PO Box 3121/ Winter Haven, FL 33885. All profits will be donated to the Julia and Claud Berry Memorial Fund at the First Christian Church in East Prairie, where they were faithful members all their lives.
Here are a few of my favorite poems by her.
I miss you, Mom-mom.
NOT GOING (12in. snow, -18 temp) When the wind begins to blow from the North and it starts snowing When cold stiffens then I know The simple pleasure of not going Highways overcast by ice Air on which breath almost freezes Clouds that tighten like a vice On the sky -- nothing pleases Quite so much as sitting by the fire No time for straying -- now and good to know that I am home -- and justified in staying. MY BIRTHDAY PRAYER No. 75 Dear Father, Let not others make too much of my birthday, it is of no significance, And let me not make too much of it either- Let not others make too much of my deathday- it will be of no significance. But dear Lord- help me make a celebration of all the days between, To Weave with shining threads this fragile frabric known as life. With Love to You TO ME I wish someone could say of me When I depart She lived a poem She did her part The flowers grew brighter in her bed The shining hours flew so she said. Her laughter dulled the edge of grief It brought blessings to each emerging leaf. She lived a poem. EAST PRAIRIE (April 29, 1977) This is the town my heart has known over the fields soft winds have blown Telling of the lives of gentle folk Patient-honest with time to joke There are the steeples, high in the blue, of churches that faith and prayer make true These are the houses old and sweet These are the walks where happy feet danced at picnics - hunted Christmas trees There is the pond (crowded ditch) with memories Here is the graveyard holding the sun - dreams of those whose work is done The school house is here softened with time, still as dear in hearts like mine that I find rest - in this town that I like best. IN MEMORY OF CLAUD (July 23, 1977) When you were here and when I heard your step - your laugh - your every word when I touched your arm - your hand It's hard to understand sometimes it tears my heart apart why just now should you depart But when you left even now your presence lingers on - I close my eyes I see your face I think of your laughter and your grace I wonder sometimes how this can be But I know you too think of me. [one of my lonesome days] DAVID WOULD SAY: Do not for me Weep I am not here- I do not sleep I am the thousand Winds that blow I am a diamond glint on the snow I am the sunlight on the grain I am the Autumn's gentle rain I am the birds circling in flight So do not at my grave cry I am not there-- I did not die --Julia "Mom-mom" Berry DAVID'S GRAVE Warm summer sun shine brightly here Warm southern wind blow softly here Green sod above - lie light lie light Good night dear son - good night good night - David was peacefully released, May 12, 1976. --Mom-mom, May 1977 ZINNIAS (one of my favorite flowers) There should be a rhyme for zinnias of simple lines not wordy But bright, strong, dependable as zinnias are - as sturdy Nothing fragile nor dainty here no dropping heart - no bell - no star staunch vivid rows of colored cheer Zinnias are just what they are -