“Oh, Valentine…”

In Mrs. Randall’s Grade 2 class
Everyone was told to make a Valentine for everyone
Nearly everyone knew everyone meant not nearly everyone
Everyone meant every girl for the boys and every boy for the girls

I did not know that
And in that class everyone was my Valentine
Which surprised everyone but me
What surprised me was that there were so few cards on my desk

Thinking about then now
I can imagine the huge volume of Valentine’s Day cards
That were purchased at the confectionery, drug store, and places like Woolco
We were so many children everywhere being taught how to show our love

I pivoted in Grade 2
After Mrs. Randall, teacher’s names and faces faded from my view
As classmates we saw the outright expression of admiration, affection, and love diminish
Within our big world of little observations

When I stopped giving Valentine’s day cards, I started wanting Valentine’s Day sex
When I saw my first moulded chocolate rose I could no longer fathom My Valentine
When I learned how to demonstrate erotic love I stopped thinking about Valentine’s Day altogether
Lust and not soft lazy beating hearts were what I knew

Then Valentine climbed into my life
She courted and touched me and, like Cupid’s arrow, came out of nowhere
Our Valentines were cool rocks lifted from ambitious shorelines
Placed warm in one another’s hands.