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Friday, February 8, 2019

For My Valentine

Seems we've known each other
forever, but still I want 
to give you something
special for Valentine’s Day.
Maybe just a few words
polished and presented—
a poem perhaps, or a story—
something 
that would mean something—
like small sips of kindness
breathed 
into brightly-colored balloons,
or a package tied
with swirls of ribbon
too pretty to pull apart.
Of course, packages like that
seldom 
live up to their promise.
Once I received
a box of long-stemmed roses
from a man 
who was tall and elegant
and wore costly leather gloves
while I wore frazzled wool.
The roses were beautiful,
but not half as beautiful
as the wilting dandelions
I received years later
from the scrunched fist
of the curly-haired child
in muddy sneakers
who traipsed across my
just-mopped kitchen floor
to give them to me
with a kiss 
and an I love you.
That was the spring 
I learned that a real gift
is like a break-away balloon—
love-filled and unexpected.