“Two-Way Gratitude” by Karen O’Leary


Two-Way Gratitude

Eighty-year-old Sid
steps behind the till,
waving off his wife.

Stevenson’s Gift Shop
is an icon on Main Street
of our small town.

“Two bits minus
two bucks credit,”
he says with a smile.

He slips my book
into a brown business
bag, “Come again.”

I hand him a twenty,
“Keep the change.”
His wife sighs.

Our town was built
on kindness & respect,
something I honor.

Background for this poem:

“I grew up in a small town in central Minnesota. People help people. My Dad has Alzheimer’s and the support he and Mom have is so heartwarming. The kindness and respect are models for those fortunate to witness or be a part of it. This poem is based on life in our town.”


Author Bio:

Karen O’Leary is a writer and editor from West Fargo, North Dakota. She has published poetry, short stories, and articles in a variety of venues including Frogpond, A Hundred Gourds, bear creek haiku, Shemom, Creative Inspirations and NeverEnding Story. She edited an international online journal called Whispers for 5 ½ years. She enjoys sharing the gift of words.


© The Literary Librarian 2019

Published by

Chrissy Hall (pen names: Nina Hall, Amarine Rose Ravenwood, Saoirse Fae, Mina Marial Nicoli, & Phoebe Grant)

Chrissy Hall is a writer who composes under a variety of pen names, each one specific to a particular genre: Amarine Rose Ravenwood is for her preteen, teenage, and young adult fantasy stories and feminine poetry - Saoirse Fae is for her fairy tales and fairy-tale poetry - Mina Marial Nicoli is for her children's stories and poetry - and Phoebe Grant is for her light horror fairy tales and her darker, Halloween-type poetry. As The Literary Librarian, she is committed to supporting fellow authors in every way she can, from author interviews to poetry hosting, to providing space for book promos and book advertisements, to referring authors to services they are seeking. She is also a content editor, copy editor, and proofreader.

3 thoughts on ““Two-Way Gratitude” by Karen O’Leary”

  1. Hi Karen…yours is a delightful poem based on human interaction. It very much reminds me of life in the village of Hal Safi, where I have lived all my life; here people are always happy to give each other a hand, and families are very supportive. Blessings….paul


    1. Dear Paul,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad that you have such supportive people in Malta. A supportive community that is something that money can’t buy. I’m so glad you have this wonderful place to call home.



  2. Dear Amarine,

    Thank you so much for publishing another poem by me at your beautiful journal. I am enjoying being a guest columnist too. For those that want to try a cinquain, I hope you check out my first column under articles for more information.

    Amarine, I wish you the best with Literary Librarian. It is a gift to the writing community.

    Blessings and best wishes,


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