14 February 2015

#14 - February

For half the month, old Johnny Eglantine 
will swap his poppy for a sweetbriar rose, 
and sit in Buckley Park in Sunday clothes – 
same bench each day – until it’s time to dine. 
At home, he lights a candle, pours some wine – 
two glasses always – though he sadly knows 
he’ll only drink the one, but so it goes: 
he sits in silence for his Valentine. 
Then on the fifteenth, when the candle’s died, 
he’ll slide the poppy through his buttonhole – 
he knows she sees him soldier on with pride. 
He petal-wraps in pink the heart she stole, 
and seals his annual promise with a tear: 
he’ll wear a smile until this time next year.


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