“Two-Way Gratitude” by Karen O’Leary

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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

“r-e-u-n-i-o-n” by Karen O’Leary

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r-e-u-n-i-o-n

first one
that enticed her
after years of stilted
honey…the homelike sing-along
drew her
the folk
music, a balm
of childhood memories,
rich in acceptance and warm zeal…
at home

 

Background for this poem:

The poem is a culmination of family reunions over the years. As a child, extended family reunions on my father’s side usually had some type of sing-a-longs. There were some talented musicians to lead us. With our printed music sheets people belted out folk songs. Off key or not people enjoyed the memories that went with the music. I enjoyed catching up with various people in the relaxed atmosphere.

 

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.

 

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Walking in Time” by Karen O’Leary

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Walking in Time

grandpa’s hour glass broke
years ago…
for him
time
stood
…still…
time
ticked on
at a pace
that left him silent
our hearts had bonded
so we walked
in love…
still
time

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem, while fictional, is born of the special bond I had with my grandpa.  We often walked in silence, content just being together.  He patiently taught me how to wash eggs as a preschooler, a task that probably took him twice as long.  His quiet strength has been a model for my life.  For those stuck in the past, time does stand still, but yet time still continues on. My grandpa is in heaven now but is still tucked in my heart.

Poetry form–Fibonacci

 

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.

 

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019

“Sundown” by Karen O’Leary

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Sundown

Dakota dust clings
to dad’s sweaty skin.
We bring cold water
& ham sandwiches
to the men working
to get the crops planted.

Today they beat
the storm as steady
rain soaks the parched
soil, nourishing water
for the tiny seeds
they just tucked in.

 

Background for this Poem:

This poem is born of my growing up in rural Minnesota as a child that appreciated the opportunity to share in the farm life on vacations with my cousins. We brought the sandwiches out to those that were working in the fields. Rain was deeply appreciated when the crops were in. I’ve lived in North Dakota for most of my life as an adult. The rural life is a vital part of the Red River Valley.

 

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.

 

Find Karen’s Writing at:

Whispers journal

 

© The Literary Librarian 2019