Little Amy Squnting 001


No, it’s not Appalachia
It’s Apalachin
Like apple achin’
In the sticks, with
cows munchin’ grass
over back of Lisa’s house

Kitty caught a mouse
and laid it under
the rear tire of our car
The guts went squishin’
I’m wishin’ Beth was there
She’s one for the messy stuff

There was a mob meeting
years ago, the REAL mob,
the Mafia, on the other side
of town and police raided them
for tax stuff, I dunno, but
Mom says we got a reputation

The Klan was real busy
two towns over, and Mom said
they are fools who wear
dunce caps and I think she’s
right because she’s always right
and you better know that…

Otherwise, you get The Squint
or get called “Sadie” or
worst of all, really, is when
she says, “T’ain’t funny, McGee,”
(some old radio show) and then
you know you’re in trouble, kiddo

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

dverse called for poems that are uniquely ours. This is I, the queen of lofty speech, speaking from the front yard of 55 Brookside Avenue, Apalachin, New York, in 1962. (I was already scared of cameras, afraid they’d flash; early sign of PTSD.) The only thing I couldn’t get in was Mom’s Midwestern way of saying “roots” and “roof” with a short “oo.”

Also “in the margins” at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and Poets United. Peace, Amy