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

Tag Archives: Midwest

American Prairie

Wisconsin’s prairie blooms in green
with occasional glimmers of silver grass
shivering in soft breezes and
pierced by deep violet clover

Dead trees, grey and
stalkstill as gravestones,
still force a new branch or two
The root of Jesse sprung anew

They refuse to give in to death
Stubborn as Midwesterners,
tough; hard to break, tenacious
Never say die

As daylight wanes and red sets,
we cruise Route 69
Around every bend,
a simple feast of foraging

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

At Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Marian introduced us to the music of Tim Eriksen, a uniquely American folk artist, and asked us to conjure poems that reflect Americana. This morning, I would have been stumped, but as luck would have it, we took a day trip to New Glarus (yeah, our favorite brand of beer is made there, and oh, did we have a bit of fun!) and marveled at the breadth of the prairie grasses. Verdant, vibrant, strumming those heartstrings like Tim’s guitar, here in the breadbasket of America. I am so proud to live in Wisconsin (except for the politics, which we took a day off from monitoring for peace of mind).

Peace, Amy


Second poem of the day, I could not resist the dverse prompt about Spring, which means play, gardening, general silliness coming as a consequence of long Wisconsin winters, and… wordplay! Amy

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

SPRING AGAIN

Midwesterners aSPiRING to a quick thaw
as laSt year’s caPRIs cliNG to our memories

We know that SPRING is not far behind
and we’ll Soon bitch about sPiRitING away
A/C to ward off intenSe PeRspirING

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil


Silken Softness

My mom, Charlotte,
grew up in Iowa.
Council Bluffs, to be exact.

Recession, then Depression
brought the town to its knees,
at least until corn season.

Mom said Grandma Blanche
could make anything
from corn in a skillet:

Corn cakes, corn pone,
corn bread, but the best was
corn alone.

In the field, the poor were
allowed to glean from
Old Man Jones’ field.

Yanking from stalks,
home to shuck the ears.
Corn silk was, for Charlotte,

a miracle, a treasure. She said,
“I hope someday my wedding dress
will be as soft as this corn silk.”

Blanche marveled at
how her girl could always
make magic from simple things.

It’s a Laughlin tradition,
passed from Blanche to Charlotte,
from Charlotte to lucky me.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Poets United, my favorite site, asked for food-inspired, home-grown tales. Can’t get more “down home” than this!


Cheesehead

I’m a newly minted Cheesehead.

Wisconsinites call anyone
from the other side of Lake Erie
“an East Coaster.”

They fretted that we would
never make it through a
Madison winter.

I replied with one word: “Buffalo.”

Slowly they realized that, not only is
New York State snowy and cold and
a cheese heaven in itself,

but I have a Midwestern pedigree.
Mom grew up in Iowa.
I’m willing to eat all the ‘pig corn’ they put on my plate!

© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For ABC Wednesday, brought to you by the letter “C,” and also on Poets United, my shelter from the storm.