A Valentine’s Day Poem


I Will Love You in the Winter

February is the shortest month,
wedged in between winter
and spring, as if it could pry open
even the coldest heart.

It barely lingers, after January dragged
on, unfeeling, drenching us in Christmas debt –
prices paid for loving naively.

By March, Valentine’s roses wilt,
crystal bowls on tables empty
of chocolates and candies, replaced with green:
spring’s daring; our own fertilizing envy; new debts.

Still, we love: nurturing hope
in every fury of April; in every doubt about summer,
we plan vacations before we trust the length of days.

And then it’s May. Children bask in summer heat,
anticipating June, ushering us into shorts and flip-flops
for the summer months. So, we settle in,
as July and August swim and drift.

In September, the children make their own way
and we are back to worrying. We feel the cold at night now,
spend more time together, even if we sleep in separate beds.

But I must stop there. I will not think of fall,
of October’s first snow or the stillness in November.
I will not think of my first Christmas without you.

It is Valentine’s Day and I want you to know
that we will wade through the debts and the furies,
dance in our flip-flops through the summer settling,
and find each other again in the fall. I will love you
in the winter and well past both our Decembers.

Lisa Mulrooney