Fiction, poetry, writing
I was born a Valentine, literally. It’s what I was called. And yet I’ve never had time for the day itself except for those teenage yearnings for someone to love me enough to want me to be their own particular valentine. That soon passed.
In the past few weeks there have been losses that are hard to come to terms with. I’m not talking celebrities I’m talking people who I have shared air with, who I have spoken to and laughed with and who were younger than me. Deyika Nzeribe in Manchester was special to everyone who met him and I know many of my friends are hurting right now at his early passing. Giselle Rampaul at UWI, Trinidad was one of the loveliest people anyone could wish to meet. Her passion for her work and her big heart and smile for everyone she met makes her unforgettable, even for those of us who knew her briefly. I know my colleagues and our students are hurting right now.
So, why am I blogging about love?
Because without love we wouldn’t feel the loss of these beautiful people. Without love, we wouldn’t reach out to each other and hold each other up. And the one thing this world needs more of right now is love. Not the red rose kind that will crisp up and dry and flake away in a careless grasp, or the chocolate kisses kind with the sweet almond centre that will melt away in a careless hand. But the kind of love that looks each person we meet in the eye and tells them they matter and that we see them. That says I will stand by you and I will respect you and honour you always, not just after you are gone.
It’s Valentine’s day and I have been telling friends, and anyone else I come across that they matter and I appreciate them being in my life. Our world needs more love. It can start with each of us touching the heart of another each time we cross paths.
If we were ours, just for today,
I would place my heart in your centre
where you could taste the weight of
its years and the lightness of right now.
I would trace your story like waves’ fingers
playing a piano concerto over the sea;
read the braille of you with strokes like
warm oil gliding over your soul.
I would slide behind you and cradle you
in a lovers rock, whispering the universe
against your ears, of where you are
and where you’ve been.
If I was yours and you were mine and
we were ours, just for today,
time would stop and St Valentine
would forget to breathe.