Ode to My Valentine

I was proposed to for the first time when I was eight, my engagement ring out of the candy dispenser. His mother had graciously lent him a velvet box to dress up the presentation. Hair combed he arrive at my front door. And as fate would have it, I wasn’t home.

For me
You live
In the Tall tale
Of an 8yr old’s Proposal
oft regaled 

For me
You live
in the barn amidst
Hay fort fears
Born sparks alit

I know this tale intimately in its retelling, an urban legend of my youth, one the love stories that shaped my desires. I admit I wondered what it would be to marry my childhood friend-to have 40 plus years with one man, my model of marriage. Having two divorces under my belt, I clearly have not lived up to its expectations. (According to my bosses the first one is a mulligan. The second- a penalty)

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. Always has been. Except in 8th grade when I was dumped following the Valentine’s Dance. Yet V-day (Is it a disease or an epic battle?) still remains at the top of my celebratory list. Even if cupid is my enemy. Damn nymph and his arrows. Sometimes a girl just wants to be left alone.

L-O-V-E -Such a little word for so lofty a subject. For me it finds expression in poetry- words and writing, art and expression. As a kid one of my favorite cartoon strips was Kim Caselli’s Love is…It taught me that love showed everyday in the ordinary, the simple moments.

I’ve made no apologies for my unabashed romantic nature. Okay I have but I’ve tried desperately to contain it. (ssh! I’m telling this tale) Still my heart walks into chasms, engulfed again and again by the same fire. You know what they say the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.


But I have known its tenderness

The curve of our story

Along the soft pads of my toes

Notes scrawled


In colors composed

Let me be your canvas

Lay upon me your embrace


I’ve seen its grace in life’s toughest moments

A Love note scrawled

her grocery list backing

Words touched Bare

by grace

by love

and the art of goodbye


I’ve known loss and felt the sting of divorce’s onset.

The part ways,

The little bits,


And maybes

The weight of all that’s left unsaid

It tethers you to us

To a life grown small


I’ve waxed romantic in its epic fantasies.

A heart beating out my name in whispers

between walls palms pressed

Upon butterfly’s breathe

Floating atop the flowering treetops

Soul emboldened in your embrace

I will love you ever steadfast

we will become immortal

Oh, to be your bright Star


I’ve even written love letters never delivered, just whispered coding in a digital age.

Here I go again like the first time falling for you word by word, line by line and in between. I refrain from casting my feelings upon each page as tomorrows turn into today. I don’t want my admonitions to tip the scales of your destiny so I hold them tight-lips sealed. And audaciously dare to hope that my confession could even hold sway over your heart’s compass.

Yet I find myself wanting to encode secret messages into every line I write, craving you to know, and willing you to want the same. But I refuse to influence the choices you make or the direction you choose to go. I am torn between dreaming the universe delivers your every desire flung to the far edges of the world. And secretly hoping the winds of fate and change and time all conspire to blow you backwards. I reach out from my lifeboat so long adrift through this digital universe clinging to hope like the last vestiges of shoreline. Oh that I might again feel your breath upon my lips.


And I’ve found it in myself, Met my muse

The power of vulnerability lives in how we share our stories, our capacity to give another a peek inside. Thus began a long path of self-discovery, imaginings and story building. I began to draw the lines that connected the dots and gave me a glimpse inside people. Wrecking ball relationships turned demolition zones of a soul. Navigating the landmines of psyches for the beautiful nuggets buried inside flawed humanity.Character mining I call it.

Rooting out the solace found inside, seeking reflection like breathing. Moments of true presence where the image of myself collides in perfect harmony with another’s vision of me. The truths of expression that bring forth intimate heart connections.

Show me your heart’s longing

Your hurts,

The interior monologue,

bones bared

Utter me your truths profound

Bleed your words onto a page

Cry colors on canvas

Scream choruses of the crimes you ache

I may be your worst enemy

Strip you down

Bore to your core

To the simplest barest whispered words

I will push you

one master piece at a time

And I have seen love in its quiet divinity, at its most raw. I learned along the way that love is not a game. Relationships at their very best are fragile and deserve respect. Nurture them all.

Valentine, to you I offer my Hallow Heart and Susurrus Soul. Dive in if you dare.

Written for Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?

24 thoughts on “Ode to My Valentine

  1. Reblogged this on DCTdesigns Creative Canvas and commented:

    I’ heading out of town tomorrow to spent VDay with two dear friends, a Galentine’s weekend. I figured a little reblog from last year would be good. And a quote by Judy Garland. “For it was not into my ear you whispered but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  7. Very beautiful….loved the ‘I ve written love letters never delivered,just whispered coding in a digital age’. Love is personal yet laced with a tug to broadcast, the best way to express is by finding your own way to do so….the most subtle, simple things can be the way to convey as you say love is shown everyday in most simple ways… whom its truly aimed at will always catch it! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s day!

    • I like that Vidya. Love when aim will always reach its target. It will be caught. But does that mean it will be returned in kind? I like to think Love is contagious, the more we spread it around, the more it grows. Thanks

      • You are right, there should not be any expectations for it to be returned or anything, of course there is hope but there cannot be any compulsion. Perhaps that is why love is suppose to be unconditional.
        Anyhow, Thank you and have a great day.

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  16. Is there a “LOVE” button (it would be appropriate, wouldn’t you think?). Love that you’re both a realist and a romantic — open to be hurt, if only to have it kissed better. I love that you find love in yourself, and in both the real world and fantasy. I love that you’re not too tired to dream, and that you’ve not let your heart grow calloused. I love the language of the poetry and the prose, both of which you approach with a love of language. Speak the words out loud and tell me you are not a musician of words. Just lovely.

    • There should be a LOVE button. It would be apropos. A musician of words you say? Does dreaming of being a country singer count? Ha! It is a wonder I haven’t hardened over.And honestly I can’t say I’m callous free…..But the heart wants what the heart wants and in the quietest of whispers my own my heart knows love. Thank you my friend.

  17. Pure art! Beautiful. Somehow you have captured my own definition of loving another with that whole letting it do what it desires, desperately hoping I am among those desires thing going on. Character mining, I love that. Well done Dana, with deepest respect and growing fondness REDdog

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