This poem was penned by me a couple of years ago. Valentine’s Day 2012.
I felt I wanted to do something to mark a day of sadness for myself and many who have lost loved ones. The loss of a loved one through an illness such as Huntington’s brings with it anticipatory grief as well as the kind of grief people most associate with loss. In this poem I also tried to convey the aspect of anticipatory grief.
Feb 14, no saucy card,
No rose placed on the tray.
A simple mug of tepid tea,
To greet his Valentine’s Day.
She holds the mug up to his mouth,
The mouth which once shared kisses.
Romance now seems locked in the past,
Another thing he misses.
He takes a grateful gulp of tea,
The tongue and gullet swallow.
The next gulp dribbles from his lips,
Weak muscles, cheekbones hollow.
She wipes the spill, lifts mug again,
They have another try.
She’s grateful that he took a bit,
Important he’s not dry.
Feb 14, a whole year on,
The cards fall on the floor.
The letterbox clanks shut again,
She gathers cards once more.
She takes the cards into the room
But hearts and flowers won’t see.
The cards’ words don’t read Valentine,
“With deepest Sympathy”.