My mother, Muriel Silberman, wrote the following poems during her childhood in Dallas. They were typed on loose pages, evidently not in the order they were originally created. Most are undated. I have attempted to present them here in something close to chronological order. The first poem was clearly from New Year's, 1934; my mother was then nine years old. The later ones appear to be from around 1940, when she was 15.


Here is 1934
I don't care for 1933 anymore.
New year is chasing old year out
The old, old fellow, he's very stout.
The train is leaving
The old fellow's grieving
While the New Year is coming in........

New Year is here-New Year is here
Hear the people shout and cheer

The siren is blowing
The bells are ringing
The people are singing
For the New Year is coming
A tune he is humming
As the old year fades out.

A Swing Poem

Up in the tree tops
As high as the sky
Before we were low,
But now we are high


In the spring
The birds fly high
To sing their songs
Up in the sky.

March with its wind
Brings a boy to his kite
To fly in the air
And to make his heart light.

April showers
Bring flowers in May
The birds sit in bowers
And sing all the day.

May brings the flowers
And birds sing a tune
"The summer is coming,
It's starting in June

So let us cheer And sing a song For spring is here, But not for long

Summer Days

In summer when the school lets out
And you hear children laugh and shout
It means that summer days are here
And hot weather comes this time of year.

You mostly sit around all day
For it's so hot you cannot play.
If only now cold weather were here
I'd love for snow to now appear.

But we'll just sit around
For fall days on their way are bound,
But then within another year,
You'll see that summer days are here.

My Mother

I have a mother
Sweet and good like no other.
To me she's very dear.
And she's always full of cheer.

She nursed me through my sickness;
She comforted my pain,
And although she's weary
She'd do it all again.
She has helped me in life
Mixed with her sorrow and strife
She has shared my joys and sorrow
Looking for better things tomorrow.

So I would not change my mother
For some one else you see,
For there could be no other
As good and sweet as she.


Have you ever been in a jam?
Well, by gosh! Now I am.
I threw a book at my big sister;
She was so close that I couldn't have missed her.

She said that she'd get even with me,
And I only giggled, "Tee hee hee"
But now I'm really beginning to worry,
And I've too much pride to say I'm sorry.

Here's hoping I get out of this mess
And everything turns out for the best.
I'm sorry I hit her on the bean.
(I hope she understands what I mean.)

Ode to Dention Hall!

Behind those thick, grim walls
The Misbehavors sit,
Sorrowing in repentence
For doing wrong a bit.

One culprit he was tarday
Another he chewed gum
A third he had cut a class
And each some wrong has done.

Some think it's right, some think it's wrong
To punish them this way
But its for a worthy cause
To be a man some day.

When we are grown and out of school
Resist temptations call
T'is better to pay for sins right now
Than in Life's detention hall.

The Battle of the Alamo

At dawn the trumpets sounded
The Mexicans started to charge
The Texan's army was very small
The Mexican army was large

The Mexicans clambered over the walls
The Texans pushed them back
The Texans had put up a very large flag
Painted the color of black.

The Texans fought bravely
But soon were all dead.
Each of the bodies
With blood was all red.

This was a sad day
But it played a big part
In the history of Texas
So dear to our hearts.

The Dreamer

Sylvia a dreamer
Who wants to be an actress
Sits around and snoozes.
(Isn't she a benefactress?)

If she woke up,
She might find herself.
She'd find fame and glory.
(Not mentioning wealth)

But still she is taking
A nice peaceful snooze
When she wakes up
That's gonna' be news.

Don't sleep little dreamer
(You lazy old pup)
You'll not find your fortune
Unless you wake up!


Oh what an awful New Year's Day
To now begin anew!
You try so hard to do your best,
Yet all pick just on you.

I'm sick and tired of trying to be
A sweet angelic child,
For now they say my temper
Is far from being mild.

Besides all people snub me.
Oh my! What have I done
To cause such haughty upturned snoots?
I'll say it isn't fun!

To have no friend to comfort me
And share my joys and sorrows.
To laugh with me and cry with me
Look forward to tomorrows.

It seems I'm just a lonely waif
With no one to stand by
To help me with my troubles
To comfort me when I cry.

I'll try my best-attempt again
To do whate'er I should
To help along a fellow man
To spread the will that's good.

Maybe just in doing this
I may rewarded be.
But I'll just work and hope and pray.-
Results-I'll later see

Christopher Columbus

There was a man
Who won great fame.
Christopher Columbus
Was his name.

He went to the court
Of King Ferdinand
And asked for ships
To discover new land.

Ferdinand refused,
But Isabella the queen
Told him to claim for Spain
Any new lands that were seen.

She furnished Christopher with money
For his daring expedition
He thanked her very kindly
And bought ships with her permission.

His ships set sail
On the ocean blue,
But the number of his sailors
Was very, very few.

His sailors were prisoners
Set free from a jail,
But they preferred a prison
Rather than on the sea to sail.

Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria-
These were the names of the ships
When the sailors lost sight of their homeland,
Each had a prayer on his lips.

The sailors thought
That he earth was flat.
When they reached the end,
They would go ker-splat.

Down into space,
And down, down some more.
They would disappear
And be seen no more.

Just when they gave up hope
They sighted a welcome lee.
And this land was America,
The famous land of the free.

We owe a big debt
To a famous man-
Christopher Columbus,
Who discovered this land.


He loves me -he loves me not
That's the topic of conversation
He's the object of my affections
And the object of admiration.

He's tall and blonde and handsome
And gracious as can be
At least that's my opinion
He means the world to me.

Imagine my indignation
When she had a conversation
Much to my disgutipation
With my object of admiration.

My eyes they flashed with fire
My face just seemed a flame.
Oh my temper and my manners,
They were just the same.

I longed to tear her hair out,
And tell her where to go,
But that would ruin my reputation
Which is respected so.

However I held my temper
And I also held my tongue.
But I shook my fist as I went on
Just then my alarm clock had rung.


Ah the beauty of that moment
When the whole world seems to wait-
One moment of contentment-
Then to retain its gait.

The whole world is in stillness;
The birds have ceased to sing;
And each one feels alone with God-
Oh such a beautious thing!

The sun's last rays are fading
As creeping comes the night;
Ah just for that one moment
With the sun's last ray of light.

There seems to be no worries;
Each man is free from strife.
What a wonderful thing 'twould be
The twilight of our life

If in a beautiful twilight
We quietly breathed our last
And quietly slipped into beautiful night
And became a thing of the past.

The Lily

It grew beside a shining mirror lake
'Mid breezes that the tree leaves gently shake.
Calm, majestic, beautiful to see—
A snow white lily only made to be
A thing of beauty just for one short hour
It fades so soon that calm, majestic flower
It quakes so gently in the summer breeze
As green leaves quiver on the stalwart trees.
The summer sun shines hotly on the land
And makes the soil like blazing desert sand.
The lily wilts and shortly after dawn
Majestic beauty from this earth is gone,
But other beauties come to take its place
As human beings on the earths sad face.

Ode To A Study Hall

Not a whisper!
Not a sound!
Then a crash!
You leap and bound.

A large and heavy history book
Has fallen to the floor.
It was nothing more than that.
(Better thank your lucky star)

Then the rattle of paper
And the thumping of books
They're supposed to be studying.
(You can't tell it by their looks)

One girls applying lipstick;
Another's dabbing rouge.
They make themselves so hideous
That they look quite like old Scrooge.

You sit and squirm
Because you're through,
And you have nothing
Else to do.

You get so impatient
You'd like to start a riot.
Then the bell rings.
(Now's your chance to try it)

Dear old study hall
I love you through and through.
Please accept my little ode.
To you I will be true.

Guess Who

I noticed him farther down the street
A mean glint in his eye.
And oh how fierce and mean he looked
Glaring as I passed by.

Then hot pursuit at once was on;
He followed me all the way.
I ran; he followed just as fast-
How frightened I was that day.

He had intent to hurt me.
That - Anyone could see.
Oh what a mean ferocious creature
Was that stupid honey-bee.

The Constitution

'Twas in 1787
In the bright spring month of May
That some famous men of history
To Philadelphia came one day.

Among the great who attended
Were Washington, Franklin, and Blair,
And Morris, and Pinckney, and Basset
And a great many more men were there.

They came to draw up a paper
That always has had great fame.
It stated the rights of the people.
The Constitution was its name.

They argued and wrote and debated
Till the paper was perfect-I think
Then every man who approved it
Signed on it his name in ink.

This "Servant of the People"
Was drawn up for you and me
So we would have more protection-
So we could be gay and free.

We owe a debt to those learned men
Who so many years ago
Made this wonderful Constitution
Which helps the nation so.

Christmas time

It was December 22nd
At this Christmas time
While waiting for the bell to ring
We'd yawn from ear to ear.

Just think of all those days to sleep
With nothing else to do
But keep in touch with someone
The bed and pillows too!

Or when you've tired of sleeping
There's lots more to be done
Plenty of time for social life
Boy! won't that be fun?

And not forgetting OLD St Nick
And what He's going to bring
That lovely Christmas Dinner
With trimmin's and everything.

And then that fateful New Years Eve
That ushers a New Year in
And the New Year's resolutions
That we'll begin again.

There's one resolution we all should make
As good as the golden rule
Have your fun- don't overdo
And be sure to come back to school.

Westward Ho!

The revolution was over;
The constitution was done;
Washington was President,
But many events were yet to come.

One was the Westward movement
By pioneers brave and strong
Who braved all the dangers about them
And pushed toward the west with a song.

It's westward ho, and Westward ho,
Till the towering mountains are crossed
Get away from civilization
And in the west get lost.

Get lost in the rolling green valleys
In the forests dark and primeval,
But be careful of the Indians
I hear their war-whoop- Hark!

It was many a hardy pioneer
Who crossed the mountains tall
Who braved many dangers every day
To be in the west by the Fall.

We owe a great debt to those pioneers
Who so many years ago
Settled on plains and prairies
On the fertile lands that we know.

They founded the cities and townships
From the mountains to the seas
From Appalachian to Pacific
In this land for you and me.

Did you know that not many years ago,
Our country was just on the Eastern coast
There were no Western lands at all
Western lands of which we now boast.

After the Revolution
When the United States was free
The settlers moved over the mountains
Westward towards another sea.

They settled Ohio and Tennessee,
They settled Kentucky, too,
With the settlement of the latter
Daniel Boone had much to do.

Then in 1803 A.D.
Louisiana was added on
It was larger by far the Louisiana we know
For it's original boundries are gone.

The Floridas soon then were added
But the people still moved toward the west
To settle in God's own country
Thats what they thought was the best.

WHY Should I?

My hose are torn
And my hair's awry,
But he doesn't care,
So why should I?

My petticoat shows
And my hem is torn
And the shoes I wear
Are scuffed and worn.

He doesn't know
And he doesn't care
How I look
Or what I wear.

If he only showed
That he cared a bit
I'd correct myself
Wear clothes that fit.

But what's the use,
He doesn't know or care
But the misery,
It just isn't fair.

Spring Fever (1940)

Did you ever have that urge,
To just get up and shout
Give vent to all that pent up steam
No matter who's about?

Did you ever want to be so mean
That you'd pull old Tobby's tail,
Or have a fight with a traffic cop
And land up in the jail?

Did you ever have that certain urge
To do just as you please
To dress and act as you want to
To cry and laugh and tease?

It seems that all the world is wrong
But to correct it you've no right
So you've just got that horrid urge
To scratch and tear and bite.

It's spring a creeping through your bones
That makes you feel that way
And thats exactly how I feel
On this sunshiny day.

I just don't want to be cooped up
Shut in indoors all day
I'd rather be out in the sunshine
Singing along all the way.

Just seven more hours to wait now-
And then I'll be through for the day
And then will I be satisfied?
For goodness gracious, I'll say!

The Call That Never Came

She sat and waited patiently
She didn't seem the same
Because she was awaiting
The call that never came.

She silently waited for his call
And prayed a silent prayer;
Her prayer was never answered;
No call came for her there.

Till almost dusk she waited
With pretended grace,
But finally at sundown
A tear rolled down her face.

A face the fair of the fairest-
With sparkling eyes like the dew-
A temper sweet like the honey-
Something possessed by few.

Just a little bit of thoughtlessness
Caused her a lot of grief,
So please don't you be thoughtless
As ocean waves pounding a reef.

If someone is waiting for your call
Call-don't be the blame
Don't take the responsibility
For the call that never came.

The Defeat of the Spanish Armada

Spain, the mistress of the seas
Had once the largest fleet,
But I will tell of an incident
That put her at England's feet.

The galleons of Mistress Spanish Main
Were respected on sea and shore
If anyone dared to attack her
He'd dare not attack once more.

The Spanish grew rich with booty
With gold from across the sea
They'd miserly horde their treasure,
And were as rich as they could be.

But alas and alack as has always been said
"Pride goes before a fall"
And England the country of brave men
Became master of them all.

Self confidence often causes a fall
Like the deed of the Spanish Main.
The Spaniards thought if they won once,
They'd win again and again.

'Twas an Easter Sunday morning
When the Spanish were at prayer
That the English fleet came upon them
And defeated them right there.

A storm arose and the Spanish fleet
Was sunk in the deep blue sea.
The Spanish Armada was no more
And never again would be.

Now England the mistress of the seas
Is feared on every shore,
And for the Spanish galleons
Only their fame will live evermore.

Final Worry

Here I see finals coming on
And I don't know a thing.
Circles, wars, and Julius Caesar
All in my head ring.

I just can't find out which is which.
I don't know who is who.
I guess I'll flunk all my exams-
Gosh- What a bugaboo!

I've studied long and hard each night
The way good pupils should,
But study long and hard this way
Does not do any good.

Theorems can't get through my skull
Can't learn historic dates-
Latin isn't any good-
Oh dear-How my head aches!

When I grow up to maybe be
A president or queen,
Finals and tests of any kind
Will nevermore be seen.


"April showers bring May flowers",
I've heard my friends oft say,
And there's nothing more that I enjoy
Than a rainy April day.

To hear the raindrops pattering
Gives me great ecstasy,
And a sudden flash of lightning
Brings many a thrill to me.

To listen to the thunder
While curled up with a book
Makes me feel just like a queen
Curled up in my nook.

April stays not long enough.
(For just me I suppose)
But May has come, and I must see
Just how my garden grows.

The Discovery of Columbus

It was many and many a year ago
When Columbus, Italian by birth,
Traveled o'er Europe and tried to prove
His theories of this strange earth.

He said that the earth was round as a ball-
And also another strange fact,
He said that by sailing west, east could be reached.
This theory by several was backed.

Among them the wise men of Egypt and Rome
And also the wise men of Greece
They based these ideas on their limited knowledge
Gathered in piece by piece.

This theory had never been proved as yet
And really might never have been,
For China had never been reached from the west
And this theory incredible seemed,

Columbus, our hero, searched all over Europe
To gain ships to sail on the sea-
To reach the east by sailing west-
To prove his theory.

To the royal courts of kings and queens
Columbus our hero was sent
But at each place he was refused-
His wish ungranted went.

Then to the court of Spain he went
And promised to give all the land
Which he might discover on his trip
To Isabella and Ferdinand.

The king and queen, uncertain at first,
Did not tell him their decision
But ordered him to remain at court.
For such a trip they might make provision.

After many an hour of pondering
The queen at last decreed
That he should make just such a trip-
He'd furnish all he'd need.

Yes, Isabella sold her jewels
To finance the expedition
For Columbus would cede all land to her.
That was the proposition.

The only sailors to be procured
Were vagabonds and thieves,
Our undaunted hero accepts them,
And the shores of Spain he leaves.

He left the shores of magnificent Spain
In fourteen ninety-two
And a wearisome journey was made by him
On the Atlantic Ocean blue.

After many a day of anxiety
And many a day of doubt
"Oh! Captain, we see land!"
He heard the sailors shout.

Columbus and his sailors brave
Disembarked on the yellow sand,
And Columbus said that this place would be
For Isabella and Ferdinand.

He thought that India he had reached.
India-land of jewels and spices-
The land of adventure and fabulous wealth
That many a brave man entices.

This beauteous land he discovered
Was later destined to be
America the beautiful-
The wonderous land of the free.

We owe a great debt to that patient man
Who so many years before
Sailed on the stormy Atlantic blue
And landed on our shore.

By only his will and patience
Are Americans here today
And here forever we'll always be.
That's what we hope and pray.

The In-Between

Doesn't it really hurt your insides
When you have to hold your tongue
To a person two years older
Who says that you're too young
To listen to her talking
About a certain boy-
It's people acting just like that
That take away your joy.

I guess I'm just an in-between
Too innocent to hear,
But gee, when I am older
In just about one year,
I'll let them know a thing or two;
With anger will they burn.
Until that gay eventful day,
I guess I must adjourn.


Hope is a speck on the far horizon-
Dim-yet bright in the sun.
Hope is composed of fear and anguish,
Also the patience of one.

Some hope for few things
And some hope for much.
Some hope for glory-
For wealth, love, and such.

It will be a grand day
When all hopes come true.
There will be fame and glory
For me and for you.


Kindness is a funny thing;
It can only be felt by the heart,
But in our simple daily lives
It plays a very big part.

Kindness is just a helping hand
Or smiles or a cheery phrase,
Or even consideration
By giving a bit of praise.

Kindness is more than a feeling,
Yet it just is that way;
And no other word can describe it,
So just show that you're kind every day.

A Winter Sky

On an early winter evening
When the sun sets in the west,
And the sky is dull-yet rosy
That's the time that I like best.

The thin white clouds float all about
When winds blow them around,
And then with wondrous patterns
Does the winter sky abound.

The sun has now descended,
And the stars come out again;
They seem to whisper silently,
"Good will to all God's men."

Study Hall on December 22

'Twas the day before vacation
At the Christmas time of year,
And in each and every study hall
I'd yawn from ear to ear.

I'd dream away the time
Without a thought of anything,
But just when I get comfortable,
The bell decides to ring.

I yawn another time or two
And then pick up my books-
Then gaze back at the study hall
With melancholy looks.

Solitude and I

We stay together all the time-
Solitude and I.
We have such very few good friends.
Lonesome?-No, not I.

These beings all are bores.
(Most of them anyhow)
There's just a very very few
I care for just right now,

We'd rather have just one good friend-
Solitude and I
Instead of having countless ones
Like stars in a summer sky.

For many friends are often false
So we'll let time pass by
Until a good friend comes along-
Solitude and I.

The Three Pigs

There was once three pigs with three curley wigs
And three little snouts of pink
And on each little pig with a curley wig
Was a little tail with a kink.

Now the mother pig
With her snout so red said,
"We have no supper,
For we have no bread."

Said Great Big Pig,
"I'll go away now.
I'll go and get married
To a big fat sow."

But first he decided
To build a home,
For he did not wish
His lady to roam.

His house was built
Of straw and hay,
And he worked and he worked
Till he worked all day.

Then in the evening
With his task all done,
He went into his house
At the setting of the sun.

The wolf came along,
And knocked at the door.
"Let me in," he snarled
With a terrible roar.

"No, no," said the pig
Through the terrible din,
"Not by the hair
On my chinny chin chin."

The hay house came down
With a terrible blast.
The wolf blew the house down
And ended his fast.

When the first little pig
Did not return home,
The middle-sized pig
Decided to roam.

His house was built
Of mud and logs.
(The most modern house
For fat little hogs)

The wolf came along
And knocked at the door
Saying, "Let me come in,"
With his terrible roar.

"No, no," said the pig,
Who was quaking with fear
"Not by the hair
On my small silky ear."

The house was blown down
By the terrible beast,
Who ate poor piggy
And had another feast.

Then the third little pig
Decided to leave.
He left his mother
To weep and to grieve.

He was a smart pig
And knew a lot of tricks.
He outwitted the wolf
With a house of red bricks.

The wolf came along -
Tried blowing down the wall.
But he blew and he blew-
The house never shook at all.

The wolf scampered away
To think of a plan.
"I can get piggy out," He said,
"With turnips I can.

"Will you go to get some turnips
With me tomorrow morn?"
Said the wolf whose voice was very sweet
Without a hint of scorn.

The pig agreed to go
At 7o'clock,
But piggy woke at six
And away he did hop.

When the wolf came to call,
The turnips were cooking.
Said the pig to the wolf,
"Aren't they good looking?"

"Do you like apples?"
Said the wolf to the pig.
In Farmer Brown's orchard
They're juicy and big.

They were to go
At six o'clock,
But piggy woke at five
And away he did hop.

He filled up his basket
And slid down the tree,
But when he reached the bottom,
What did he see?

The wolf was coming,
So up Piggy climbed.
"How are the apples?"
The wolf slyly chimed.

"They're very good," said Piggy,
"I'll throw you down just one."
Down went the apple-
Away the wolf did run.

The pig hurried down
And toward home he scrambled
While after the apple
The wolf slowly ambled.

The wolf came by later
And said to the pig,
"I must go to the fair tomorrow
To buy myself a wig."

"Would you like to come along?
You need a butter churn,
And maybe you will also buy
A red and yellow urn.

Be sure to meet me right at three."
The wolf did slyly cry.
Piggy went at two o'clock,
But Oh, what did he spy?

The wolf was coming up the hill
And hoping for his meal,
But Piggy rolled down in the butter churn
And hit the bad wolf's heel.

Then Piggy ran home
And bolted the door.
He built a big fire
In the hearth on the floor.

The wolf was climbing down the chimney,
But he did not know his fate.
He would be the small pig's supper.
Roast wolf (Doesn't that sound great?)

Ker-plunk, he went into the pot-
Plop plop-out came the pigs
And now the three little brothers
Are dancing three gay little jigs.