Be My Valentine
By Harold Shuler ~
“Be my Valentine,” I said, practicing once more.
But now, my will abandons me as I approach your door.
King Super’s Flowers wilt away in an unsteady hand,
A tender note of fervent love is held by rubber band.
A heart shaped box of chocolate creams melts steadily away,
The weather man’s prediction holds, “Warm weather’s here to stay.”
My hair is combed, my shoes are shined. I really look a dope,
I brushed my teeth and took a bath. I washed with scented soap.
I climb the stairs and cross the porch, then push the little button.
The door swings in and there you are, the creature I am stuck on.
Your hair is black. Your eyes are, too. A beauty like no other,
You’re standing there, a replica, a version of your mother.
I’m sweating buckets, vision’s blurred, my heartbeat’s all a quiver.
It’s clear to me anxiety is not good for my liver.
“What have we here?” I hear you say, “a gentlemanly caller?
“You are cute and do smell good, but I like them a bit taller,”
Though you are mocking me in jest, frustration starts to swell.
My pounding heart is sure to burst within this wrenched shell.
What is my plea a prelude to, a down, another inning?
I’m sure this gesture, as it is, is only the beginning
Of my courting you until the day I fall on bended knee,
And beg that you stay by my side and spend your life with me?
There will be the wedding and then the wedding night.
Regardless of our history, I’ll want to do it right.
The honeymoon should be some fun and hopefully will last her.
For, as we know, the records show, the children come thereafter.
I’ve heard tell, there’ll cone a spell, when life gets rather prickly,
So, if we fight like feral cats, I hope we make up quickly?
We’ll love our kids, bear with their growing process.
Like rolling stones they’ll gather years, loving life and moss less.
There’s our work and paths we chose, to make us who we are.
The conflicts often hiding there, can raise the nuptial bar.
And what about the day to day that quenches our desire.
I’m sure we’ll have to put some thought in stoking passion’s fire.
Then there’s the rule of life, “We shall not live forever.”
There are the things we want to do, demanding, “Now or never.”
The odds are good we’ll get divorced. It’s true.
Stats reveal that 4 of 10 of marriages fall through.
Because our life is finite, we’ll find ourselves alone,
And, you recall why they aren’t there, when reaching for the phone.
You’re sure that you won’t here again life’s songs of love and laughter.
But the music flows to help you through the other one’s hereafter.
Then, one day you’ll check the board. You’ve lost the daily double.
This is it. The race is run, and they pat you with a shovel.
All of this flashed through my head, a life that can be brittle.
Should I reconsider it, or just be noncommittal.”
Let it have an open-end, a statement, not an offer,
Like, “I’ll be fine, if you decline to be my doubles partner.”
But, when I opened up my mouth, my dumb tongue crossed the line.
I took a breath, then what I said was, “Be my Valentine”.
Then you said, “What took so long? I thought you’d never say it.
“Maybe words are like a fish. It takes time to filet it.
“The gifts you brought are fading fast. This porch could not be hotter.
“Let’s get the chocolates in the shade, the flowers in some water.
“Come on in, out of the sun. I’ll pour us both some wine.
“I’m glad to see that you want me to be your Valentine.”