Valentine’s Day Reminder

by Carolyn Scarbrough

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We’ve had a lot of years. Still, I do not want

some forlorn, sarcastic, let’s ignore Valentine’s Day


day. Nor do I want the fat ballooning greeting card hearts on

every surface kind of love.


Give me this hula-hooping love that rises and falls,

spins its tediously annoying beads one day


and crashes to the floor on others.

Some may not think this is so amazing.


Lets face it…tonight is the coldest night of the year,

the children treat our bedroom like a train station


coming in when we want them to go,

forgetting their stuff when they leave.


Our cozy king size bed is littered with cracker crumbs, a

stuffed dog and a book about bugs. This


is the place they come to cry or vomit or wedge in

between us in the dread of night.


Outside, the moon is like a streetlight shining over

the dormant garden. Compost warms the bed


that held the lettuce that thrived, just as we left for

vacation. So we gave it all away.


Sometimes, we can’t even speak. Sometimes

we laugh during sex. It’s night. The electric blanket


has the bed just right. Someone knows, she’s banging

at the door. We have something she wants. We


keep forgetting that what she wants is right here—

though we give it away and away


and yet it is here, knocking, knocking.


Carolyn Scarbrough has published in Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Sundog, Tar River Poetry, Conduit, Connecticut River Review, High Desert Journal,   Minnesota Review, and The Southeast Review. She has an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars, works as a pediatric ICU nurse, and is the mom to five kids, two dogs and the cat. Basically, she says, she writes despite all the reasons to not write, much like a willful child!

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