petunias sage green, gold-edged stalks is snake
ice-on-the-mountain butter moistens a cake
that’s chicken-in-a-basket purple wanderin’ Jew
marry you a rich white doctor mind what I tell you

for rice puddin’ and tater pies, use vanilla flavor
walnuts peanuts pecans cashews my favorite
they ‘bout your color ‘cept your cheeks are pink as a rose
we call those tough Brazil nuts niggahtoes

no rush on children jus’ drop one or two
unless he rich slow simmer tenders stew
keep your money in your bosom know
your Granny loves you

fresh mint or lemon match good with a cup of tea
don’t you drag home no man as black as me

An MFA in Creative Writing graduate from Rosemont College and a LaSalle alumna, Vernita Hall has been a second place finisher in the American Literary Review‘s Creative Nonfiction Contest and a Salem College Rita Dove Poetry Award finalist. Her poetry and essays have been published in Atlanta Review, American Literary Review, Forward, Philadelphia Stories, and two anthologies.

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