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

Tag Archives: Kitchens

When you’re done, you MUST check out the wacky prompt that Walt gave us at Poetic Bloomings.  It made for one heckuva fun Sunday!

Moody Charlotte

Mom, stuck on a cul de sac
with no car. Had she the fare,
she would have fared well
in Paris – a random thought,
reflecting her need for
dramatic change.

“I’ll take up painting!” she
blurted; Leslie and I nodded.
She burst forth with wacky plans
when moody. Lacking supplies
(Les and I were thinking easel,
paints, canvas, a jaunty beret)
she called two friends before
securing a ride to… an art store?

Chances of her following through
were about even with the chance
of an armadillo successfully crossing
a West Texas highway.

Next day after school…
the danger signs: In the open garage,
large paint cans, brushes dripped
blood onto newspaper, and three
Gordon’s gin empties.

Whatever it was, she was done with it.
High as a kite and just as flighty,
she flittered around her creation.

Charlotte had painted the kitchen walls
tomato red
and the ceiling Vincent Price Black.
Her Waterloo with an indignant
bridge club; members refused to
enter our home on Brookside Avenue…

a cry for help that passed
unanswered.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Walt at Poetic Bloomings had some fun at our expense:
Today, you are given random nudges, the replies to which will become the pieces to your poetic puzzle.

1. Your mother’s first name (Charlotte)
2. A wild animal (armadillo)
3. A city you’ve never visited, but would like to (Paris)
4. A hobby (painting)
5. A mode of transportation (car)
6. Your least favorite vegetable (tomato – don’t even get me started)
7. A “lucky” number (2)
8. Your favorite color (red)
9. Three random words (dramatic, moody, random)
10. Historical event (Waterloo – doubles as an ABBA song)
11. A childhood friend (Leslie Frederick, still a friend even though she moved away in FIFTH GRADE!)
12. The street on which you grew up (Brookside Avenue)

You can write in any form, meter and rhyme scheme. Your title will be the answer to #1 + the second random word in #9.

This also appears at Poets United’s Poetry Pantry and on the sidelines at my “pad,” Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

NOTE:  The story is essentially true, but I altered the timeline to accommodate the poem. This didn’t happen on my watch, but many years before – when Mom’s moods started pingponging like those of her mom, my Grandma Blanche. Charlotte was never diagnosed, but she did pull off stunts like this while on a self-medicated high. The red kitchen with black ceiling? YES, IT WAS TRUE! She later told me, “I don’t know what I was thinking, because that kitchen made me feel claustrophobic. Bud finally repainted it after three days because he couldn’t stand the colors, and he was really scared by then of my moods.”

Charlotte. Mama. Never a dull moment! Peace, Amy