Monday, February 14, 2011

For my Valentine

Cardinal in Winter, photo by Rita Vita, used under cc license

This is a poem I wrote for my husband 6 years ago.  It is as true to how I feel for him today as it was then, as it was when we met nearly 30 years ago.

Love Notes of a Backyard Naturalist

The cardinals will not mate
until early spring, but today
I tell you about the pair in our yard.

The male, the color of a child's
valentine against fresh snow, tucks
a single black sunflower seed
inside an orange beak. He swoops

between the base of the feeder
and the hedge that hides his shy wife
to gift her with one morsel at a time.

When the babies hatch, he will feed
them also.  February is far too cold
for eggs and she will not construct her nest
until the sun lingers late in the sky.

Like the cardinals, we mate for life.
When the boys are asleep, you crush
fresh berries on my tongue.
--LJ Cohen