We Prefer the Mornings After

The internets are filled with words of love and the constant fall of virtual petals. Poems find themselves stuffed in envelopes and scrawled on candies, but everybody knows that sonnets were written to be studied, not to strike the irons of passion. Who hasn’t felt that hearts are meant to break and mend against sudden breaths and heightened beats? The romantic only knows love but for the lack of it. The dreamer for the nightmare. We don’t need Hallmark to tell us this, but perhaps to remind us that it is so, just as it once was. Gold is still gold, no matter how new the shine.

Once I made merry on Valentine’s Day. I was one of the masses, writing poetry for mailboxes. Now my valentine is no longer similes of summer days, but tangible and real.

My valentine is the sweet face of a boy no longer a baby, but forever to be considered as such. Zane turns two in the early hours after Valentine’s Day. He will turn three there, too. So it is and always will be.

Two years ago tonight I spent my Valentine’s Day without thoughts of chocolate or dinners I couldn’t afford, but with my wife and the pressing hours that build to the unknown. Yes, we had done it before and it had been so right that we were doing it again. There was mystery, not knowing if Atticus was hours away from meeting his sister or his brother. There were concerns of medicine and practice and stories we have all heard. We were anxious and we waited with moments of laughter, our breath baited, and a suitcase in my hand.

I buy flowers often, but no longer on Valentine’s Day. The gift I give is the gift I take, and his poem is in his actions.

Happy Birthday, Zane.

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