Valentine’s Day by Bob Bradshaw

Valentine’s Day

Shy, the thought of firing love darts
like the garden snail

has its appeal. The idea
of banging heads

like big horn sheep
for your love? No thanks.

Elephant seals bumping chests
for the title of beachmaster

and my own harem, well,
that’s tempting

but I’m more of a romantic.
I prefer to compete

in a more subtle way
–like the Mexican molly.

The dude with the most
impressive mustache

wins the girl. Imagine me
sporting a Salvador Dali

with its bike-like handles.
Impossible. My ability to grow

facial hair is like
a tortoise’s.

No, I’ll need to impress you
in other ways.

Do you like hiking trails
of clematis and monkey flowers?

I could be your guide,
through the pinkish fields

of Lonicera hispidula,
the striped fashions in vogue

among the pipe vines,
lavender dresses favored

by the morning glories,
and as you bend to their scents

my heart rate racing
like a hummingbird’s
in love

by Bob Bradshaw


Editor’s Note: Metaphors shape the heart of this poem, where saying “I love” feels like a race to the edge of a precipice.


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