Happy Early Valentine’s Day!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share four original short poems. Enjoy!


I’ve thought of wearing him like a hat
warm and puffy on my head
—or a scarf
flapping from my neck,
teasing the wheel spokes;
or maybe a pair of leather gloves
capping each fingertip with a fine seam

But he is my secret vest
keeping my back straight,
my stomach flat

He has filled my vest pockets
with money,
folded in triangles,
ready to play football
across the table.


His suitcase lies on the bed,
clothes splayed from an open wound,
It’s been two weeks since she last saw him
but they’ve spoken on the phone,
his voice slithering in her ear,
down into her belly,
hooking that lump that formed
when they had first met—
stirring it
jerking it
to the top of her throat
so that her voice sounded
all wheezy and tight
and he had to ask:
“Are you all right? 
Are you sick?
I’ll be home soon,
We’ll go out.”
Kitchen noises are strange when she isn’t the one making them:
The tap sings
Cupboard doors bop,
He calls upstairs: “I’ve brought you back some coffee,
very strong,
or would you like tea?”
She gathers laundry and jogs downstairs,
cuffs and pant legs spilling from her arms,
The cat claims the empty suitcase.


I’m sorry I took so long
to leave the house
My hair had other thoughts
and laughed as I brushed, moussed, and sprayed it,

I couldn’t find a decent hat,
I gave up and we met you in the car

my hair and I,

It had arranged itself on my head
flat on top with broken wings above my ears,
and pointed to everything at once,

But I managed to glide on my favorite shade of lipstick
right before I left the house,
And you said I looked so nice.


His eyes,
like the underside of a leaf,
skim across the newspaper,
snag on a column,
flit to the end:

he turns page after page,
fanning the coffee cloud,
then his reward,
the puzzle

he takes his pen,
and marks the crosswords,
“what’s that dance in spring?” he asks me,
I shrug and drag the sugar bowl to my mug

I know it’s the maypole,
Twisting ribbons, spinning girls,
I stir whorls of blackness in my cup,
Round and round,
en tournant

I’ve long stopped dancing in spring
Or fall
Or winter
Or summer

The pen rests,
He reaches for my hands,
pulls me to my feet,
“that’s our song,” he says and nods to the dishwasher
clanging through its cycles,
I laugh as we twirl.

1 First published in Red River Review (2010)
2 First published in Houston Literary Magazine (2006)
3 First published in Fairfax Connection Newspaper (2008)


About Sandy Green

I am a poet and children's author. Visit my website at sandradgreen.webs.com
This entry was posted in Holidays, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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