|HERE'S TO YOU|
It's not that I am totally opposed to the idea of Valentine's Day with its pretty pink roses, pink champagne, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, a cosy overpriced dinner in a dimly lit restaurant with schmaltzy music in the background; it's not that I can't appreciate the hype of overpriced, gimmicky tat we are implored to buy for this occasion; no, this is all very good for the economy.
It's just not for me, if it's all the same, thank you.
What I remember on this day is a very good, kind and loving man, who took me on when I was seriously ill, although I gave him every chance to duck out of the commitment. He took me on, although he knew that I might never get better, become an invalid for whatever time I had left, useless and a burden. He took me on and looked after me, bullied me, pampered me, encouraged me, dried my tears,
stopped me wallowing in self-pity and made me laugh, held my hand and held me upright.
And when the miracle happened and modern medicine and his love took the demon away from me,
he stuck to and put up with a cantankerous, selfish, ungrateful, very faulty human being.
This poem is for you, Beloved. Thanks for everything.
Dear Love, since we might both be dead by now
through war, disease, hijack or accident
at least for one day let's not speak of how
much we have bickered, botched and badly spent.
Wouldn't it make much more sense to collude
in an affectionate work of camouflage,
turning our eyes away from all we've skewed,
to the small gains of household bricolage?
As our teeth loosen and our faces crag
(I shall grow skinnier as you grow paunched,
a Laurel to your Hardy, not much brag),
I'll think of all our love most sweetly launched
if you will look with favour on these lines
we may still live as tender valentines.
b. October 1930
PS: this post is a day late because we have just had a 24 hour power 'outage'.
I shall come visiting everybody as soon as I can.