Valentine Poem to Wife

The Macaroni Heart

© Evan Brown
One night you said to me,
'remember when we were kids
we'd stick macaroni on paper for Valentines Day.'

I remember.

Link after link
a chain of deep red and bright white construction paper,
corner to corner, decorating a room,
spotted with small chairs and cubby holes
smelling of chalk and exuberance.

Folded, cut, then unfolded hearts
speckled with glitter, noodles and paint,
pasted to windows or given to classmates,
in the time allotted for exchanging,
their names now more distant than remote can define.

Catalogue men and women
in department store suits and dresses
pasted into Bristol-board cards
representing moms and dads
or girls and boys you hoped would like you.

Fat pencil crayons, big for awkward hands,
writing that could never manage to follow a straight line.
Ridiculous giant loops, crooked risers, and incongruous proportion.
Unusual colors trying to keep within heart-shaped lines.
Glue everywhere.

I remember.

It was so common, accepted, and familiar.
The simplest of things
with the purest of intention,
created under circumstance of then unfathomable honesty.
We made for the sake of love,
and We never thought twice about it.

On this day, I remember
that you asked me to remember
times that seemed trivial.
Remembrance,
for those open to its appraisal, offers clarity.
And I remember the lesson of my macaroni heart.

Today,
I made this for you.
A card,
with a macaroni heart.
It's not a real one of course,
it's virtual.
But these are virtual times my dear,
so these virtual macaronis
make a virtual heart,
which expresses a real heart,
my heart.
A heart,
that loves you,
simply,
purely,
unfathomably.

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Published: Feb 2006

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