Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Tag Archives: giving

Formula for a Lasting Marriage

Uncle Tommy told me
that successful couples should
each try to give 70 percent.

“That way, when one partner
isn’t up to giving their full share,
the other person compensates.”

Works for me.

© 2012 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Trifecta wanted a “formula” poem, in 33 words. My Uncle Tom and Aunt Clare were married many, many years before Tommy’s death. Tom was my mom’s brother, but Clare always called my mother “sister” instead of “sister-in-law.” They were so close… I’ll write more about them at another time.

Years later, Clare was lucky enough to find love again with a widower named Bob. They both kept pictures of their first loves in the house and talked about them all the time. That kind of selfless devotion, while still in a wonderful new relationship, speaks to their happiness. Bob died a few years back, and now Aunt Clare (whom we visited in California) is still shiny as a new penny, a truly lovely woman. When I think of Clare, I think of class, patience, and gracefulness. Her son, Gregg, is the cousin who got me to move out to California and work at the Great American Food & Beverage Company, a true adventure and one of the best moves I ever made.  Greggie is still too cool for school, after all these years!

A little more family history from your friend in poetry, Amy.


Poetic Bloomings asked us how we are preparing for the “holiday season.”  We celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas and would love to get in on some Kwanzaa action, so somebody invite us!  Here’s my take, and it’s posted in full on the Poetic Bloomings site.

Also, the old form “3 = x + poem” I invented didn’t go over, in part because it was a stupid name! It is now called the Barlette, in honor of my dad, Bud Barlow, who could recite verse upon verse of Kipling and Service.

Preparations, Busy Lady (a Barlette)

So many items tempt me
at the small shops on State.
Thusfar, these are some:
(of the sum total)

Warm socks for homeless men
and women, so desperate are these
forgotten people in need.
(Mary and Joseph)

Diapers – disposable, as baby’s
parents are provided a garbage bin
by the City of Madison.
(swaddling baby Jesus)

Donations, dough for digs that
ministers are hunting out and heating;
shelters, daytime rest and a hot meal.
(Magi, bearing gifts)

A homeless man died on a bench in front of
the Capitol Dome (ironic unless you live here);
Gov. charges $75 for “advocacy groups” to enter.
(No room at his inn)

If ever there was a season for advocacy,
for caring for the poor and despairing,
if not now – when? One prayer to offer.
(Christmas is about giving “Jesus style”)

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also at my poetic nest, Poets United.