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

Tag Archives: Trifecta 33-333

Of Bloodlines and Such

She carries her lineage in the
small of her back, just above
the bustle which would surely
be part of her attire, were she
of their day, her ancestors.

Mayflower women are proud,
even haughty, never naughty;
and if so, seldom caught (perish
the thought of the “madam”
in New York City, years ago).

They are of noble blood and
starchy stock. They gather in
Upper East Side ballrooms to
show off their new jewelry.
They are drinkers of tea who
find delicate delight in light
lunches: scones and fruit.

To admire them is to pay
homage to everything that
built America: Robbing and
enslaving indigenous people
and Africans by way of “trade,”
insider stock tips, country clubs
with signs discouraging Jews,

the Junior League, whining
about illegals while employing
them to do yard work for no
real money. I should know.
My father’s ancestors arrived
aboard the Mayflower, and
I’m still trying to live it down.

I shall never wear DAR prim
white gloves; never parade in
fancy hats; and certainly, I shall
never forget that, when my
mother’s family came to these
shores, they were met by signs:

No Irish Need Apply.

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

For Trifecta, who asked for a poem about blood, specifically the definition which includes bloodlines, noble birth, and that sort of hogwash. My Aunt Caroline was a member of the DAR, the Mayflower Society, and all that other “Ladies Who Lunch” bunkum. She’d never have said “shit,” even if she had a mouthful – but she blithely exploited Spanish-speaking maids, thought the poor “lazy,” and had nothing good to say about anyone who wasn’t rich and “well-bred,” especially my mom’s “pigs-in-the-parlor” Irish relatives. They, in careful New England fashion, mocked my mother mercilessly (Dad didn’t notice; it takes a woman’s touch). Therefore, this is my present to Charlotte for Mother’s Day, this being my 21st without her brilliant presence. Also to Riley, who understands why being a snob is counterproductive – and for her, counter-intuitive.

I am my mother’s daughter, proud to be living proof that Black Irish Laughlins from Council Bluffs, Iowa, could have more empathy and common sense than all the Mayflower babes put together. As my Grandma Blanche said, “Show me a member of the DAR, and I’ll show you a woman who is frustrated, spoiled, and desperate.” I have nothing to add to that! Amy


Lucky Girl Child

Our second sister,
birthed still as stone

Never to serve as
our father’s very own

little plaything – then relive,
after years of self-doubt,

what evils her Daddy
had carried about

I think it lucky
she heard God’s sweet call

Was she not graced
by good fate after all?

© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

As always, I speak on behalf of myself, not for anyone in my family. This is my truth, and I tell it willingly to help others.

As frequent readers here at Sharp Li’l know, I was sexually molested by my father. Long before I was born, my mother suffered a stillbirth during her second pregnancy. Fortunately for Charlotte, subsequent pregnancies went well; however, there were consequences regarding my father – which she finally acknowledged knowing about, during the last year of her life.

Sexual molestation is more frequent in families that most would acknowledge. Fathers, uncles, teachers, and friends of the family, of whom over 90% identify as straight men, are the most frequent perpetrators of pedophilia. If you know a little girl or boy who is easily startled, wets the bed past the usual age, seems unusually shy (or gravitates toward adult figures with inappropriate affection), or even tries to tell you about “bad touches,” please take notice. It may be nothing… or it may be everything for that child to be noticed and taken seriously.

For more information on the signs of child sexual abuse, click HERE.

This was written in response to the weekly Trifecta prompt, Lucky, with 33-333 words, including the third definition below.

LUCKY (adjective)

1: having good luck
2: happening by chance : fortuitous
3: producing or resulting in good by chance: favorable>

May the children near you, and all children worldwide, be freed of this tragic circumstance.  Until then, I bid you peace.  Amy