Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Vera Long

The greenest green I ever saw was not a patch of spring grass, a lizard or a grasshopper. It slithered along on top of the okra vines, onto the fence, and over the gate. It stopped and looked at me to see if I was going to catch its long, stretched-out body.

“It’s a garden snake, harmless, eats bugs, and aphids. Leave it alone,” Mama said, in answer to my screams. “Kids used to catch them to play with.”

The bluest blue came not from a tub of blue rinse-water as I wrung out the washing, or an artist’s paintbrush, nor my dotted Swiss prom dress, or your new necktie, nor any summer sky. I saw this bluest blue the first time I looked into your eyes.

The reddest red I ever saw was not a strawberry, not a hummingbird throat, not a ruby ring, not the scarlet berries of a haw bush, and not a rose. It was your lips, smeared with my lipstick, our first kiss.

The pinkest pink was the cheek of our first-born in her tatting-trimmed pink piqué dress and bonnet.

The whitest white was the snow on our first Christmas together.

The blackest black was the day you had to leave me.

Where did the time and colors go?

Vera Long is the winner of the 2006 Anderbo Poetry Contest. Now a widow, she has been writing Country Poetry for sixty years, living in rural Oklahoma. She has written poems about life and love, time and place and family life. Many of her poems can be found in various anthologies and on-line. She is listed in Who’s Who of American Women for her poetry. Vera and her late husband, Othadell Long, were married almost 57 years. She still lives on their farm near her two children. She belongs to the Oklahoma Poetry Society and is Secretary of Stillwater Writers Group.

Mrs. Long lives in my hometown and our newspaper just ran a feature story about her. This poem is so sweet and yet so sad. May God bless you, Mrs. Long.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rhonda, thanks for postying a comment on my blog! :)


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