Read To Me — Day Five

Valentine, by Carol Ann Duffy

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

Here.
It will blind you with tears
like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding-ring,
if you like.

Lethal.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.


It has always disturbed me that for centuries love was equated with roses and frilly heart-shaped concoctions. It’s a deliberate disservice, really, equivalent to teaching little girls to sit and be good until the knight in shining armor shows up to take them away to a better life.

Love ain’t always pretty. But it’s just as necessary to adding flavor to life as that stinky old onion that grows disfigured and flaky from the dirt. I do think that’s an unfortunate title, though, because I would like to pass out this poem to people on days other than that one designated for celebrating the sweetness of Love. Even so, thank you Ms. Duffy for a perfectly complex, smelly, realistic, and beautiful depiction of that emotion we humans will never do without.

I woke a bit later than usual this morning, so I haven’t yet posted my contribution to APAD, Day Five … there’s something going on about weaving baskets, but I dunno. I’ll link here later.

I’ve been asking this question all week and haven’t yet received an answer. And yet, I persist! What are y’all reading & writing?

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