2009 Missouri Senior Poet Laureate

Augusta Black, 2009 Missouri Senior Poet Laureate, passed away June 17, 2011, at age 91. Excerpts from her obituary include:

Augusta Katherin Black, daughter of Robert Reed and Grace LaMoine (Rollins) Howlett, was born on July 23, 1919, in Pulaski County.

“Gussie” as she was known by her family and friends, was united in marriage to James Robert (Jim) Black on May 28, 1937, and one son and four daughters were born to this union, all surviving. She and Jim enjoyed 45 years of marriage before his death in 1982.

Gussie accepted Christ as her Savior at an early age and united with Fairview Baptist Church. She later transferred her membership to the First Baptist Church of Swedeborg where she recently joked that she had served in every position in the church but pastor (to which her son added that she did plenty of preaching at home). At the time of her death, Gussie was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church of Richland. She loved the Lord and shared that love with all she came in contact with.

Gussie was a faithful and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Gussie is survived by her five children, twelve grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren, plus many other relatives and friends. Her family could always count on her support and her sound wisdom and guidance. She also loved to write, leaving a legacy of poetry and other writings for her family to draw strength and encouragement from. Here is the poem which earned her the 2009 Missouri Senior Poet Laureate award:


When she came into the kitchen,
She would always find him up.
Reading the morning paper, he'd say,
"Good morning, doll. I poured your cup."

It was good to see him sitting there,
In their cozy kitchen bright.
But she wondered why he had to speak
When she had been with him all night.

It wasn't easy to begin a new day,
Just getting out of bed was a trial.
He knew she must have her coffee
Before she could give to him her smile.

But, now his voice was silent.
Her eyes are filled with misty tears.
Even though her days are lonely,
She recalls the happy years.

Her mornings were made cheerful,
For she would always find him up,
As she heard him kindly speak,
"Good morning, doll. I poured your cup."

When her days on earth are finished,
No more nights she'll be alone.
These lovely words will greet her,
"Good morning, doll. Welcome home."

Augusta K. Black
Richland, Missouri