The Last Valentine

Outside not a breath of air stirs.
Heat, a shimmering wall,
Rises from the blacktopped circular drive.
Sprinklers spray, and
Water sweeps in waves
Splashing on red-flowering bottlebrush shrubs
That hummingbirds love so well.
Inside are comfortable chairs and couches
Covered in cool Haitian cotton,
Area rugs with a Persian design
In rose and beige,
Potted ficus and dwarf palms,
And prints of quaking aspens and gardens
Artfully arranged on eggshell tinted walls.

In this tranquil, tasteful place
Where no one wants to be,
An old woman
Sits alone in a corner,
Staring vacantly out a window,
A smudged and faded valentine
Clasped tightly in her gnarled right hand,
And patiently waits
For an old man
Who sits alone in another corner,
Staring out another window,
Trying to remember
Somewhere he was supposed to go,
Something he needed to do,
Someone he wanted to see.

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1 Comment on "The Last Valentine"

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Swathi Rao
Member

How imaginative, and mellifluous. Loved this.

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