Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Nebraska - by Patricia Landon Kelly Petersen

Today I came across a long lost poem written by my mother, Patricia Landon Kelly Petersen, in 1968. This poem was also very special to me and it was read at her memorial service in 1983.














My Nebraska

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska
'Til you've seen her in the Spring,
Awakened by a gentle rain
And hear the robins sing.

Every green and growing petal
Has its face washed, oh, so clean.
If you've been here in Springtime,
You'll remember what I mean.

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska
'Til some summers you have spent
To hike, to swim, to fish, to sail
Or just be quiet and content.

If you've never heard the wind blow
Through those cottonwoods so tall,
You don't know what you're missing,
That's my favorite sound of all.

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska
'Til you've felt her winter cold,
Shared one of her White Christmases,
It's a splendor to behold.

And to see the little children
Bundled up from head to toe.
They ignore my shoveled pathway
To wade the deepest snow.

Oh, you'll never know Nebraska,
Come see her in the fall.
Then she really shows her colors
With the kindest touch of all.

I can taste that first ripe apple.
I can smell that bonfire now.
If I could ever be more blessed
I wish you'd tell me how.

And did you ever go away?
Get so homesick you could cry?
If I tell you that I haven't
Then I'm telling you a lie.

I wonder if you've played this game
When you're returning home,
To see who can be the first to spy
That long familiar dome.

copyright 1968 Patricia Landon Kelly Petersen

4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful poem. She's was quite a talented writer!

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    1. Thank you, Becky! It's been at least a decade since I'd read this and her writing talent struck me even more today when I found this. I have a few more poems she wrote, including one for me called "For Susie, Sue and Susan" - it's around here somewhere!

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  2. Susan, if Nebraska doesn't yet have a state poem, I think they should adopt this one! It is perfect!

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    1. You might be on to something there, Nancy!

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