To My Struggling Son


By the time
could have seeded

I was charred
prairie, blackened
to every

I knew
not    the common names
of your native

your secret
delicious, wild
roots or those

I knew only
the Latin
names of our
shared seeds.

I want
my burning
intended    not
a careless ember.

I want
the green that came
up out
of the ash 

to remember
the heat and the flame. 
I want
the courage

to keep
from putting
you out.




John Berry is a native Virginia poet writing from his home in the Shenandoah Valley. John has published two books of poetry, Wobbly Man (Red Dashboard Press, 2016) and Medicine (Foothills Publishing, 2017). John hosts The Sock Drawer Poetry Series on WinLife TV, and is working on his next book, The Lawnmower Poems to be released in late 2018.