by Jeph Johnson


A Valentine
in lieu of mine
was published in the paper
and though I wrote
a heart-felt note
they must have found it safer
to print instead
the words she said
and, for once, can guarantee...
as only she could
praising singlehood:
"Love and Kisses from Me to Me"

Author's Notes/Comments: 

for Twilla, 2002


On Friday January 25, less than four hours after I found out the woman I had given all of my love to didn't want to continue ANY sort of relationship with me, I submitted, via email, a Valentine to the Portland Mercury weekly entertainment newspaper.


My intent was to let her know I missed her dearly but also honor her by letting her know that she'd raised the bar for me, in a sense.  In order to be published it needed to be received before February 3 and was to be limited to 30 lines. It was free.


Here's what I wrote:


Subject: Valentine
From: PoetryGuy@webtv.net Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2002, 5:23am
To: valentine@portlandmercury.com
Subject: Valentine


Thank you, for now the perfect woman in my mind's eye has a new set of standards to aspire.
I do miss being "frineds" but friends even more. Jeph

(Note the word count- 30 words)


"Frineds" refers to what we were calling our relationship. Friends first, but a variation..a misspelling. Sort of "more than friends." It was just one of those silly things people who like each other do.


Weeks past. We never saw each other. No talking. I even put her pictures away. No attempt at reconciliation in any way. I sent apologies that fell on deaf ears.  I actually wondered if she'd forgotten completely about me,
Then, on Wednesday February 6 the Mercury was published and I found myself rifling through the paper to make sure it was printed. Twilla! Twilla! Twilla! Where's her name??? ...I kept searching... Finally I saw it, in all its glory...It was not what I was expecting...


Twilla, You are the best single woman I know. How could you bare to write your own Valentine amongst the lovers of the world? Alas, you must let the world know what a rockin' gal you are. so love and kisses from me to me. Happy Valentines day.

(Note the word count- 48 words)


My Valentine somehow never got published. It's really ironic how she would have, beyond a doubt, seen MY Valentine had it been published, since she would have been looking for the one she wrote. (To use her word) Alas! it was not to be. Of course, by not publishing my Valentine, at least a poem was inspired...

View daddyo's Full Portfolio