For my beloved on valentine's day
Granted, sometimes grandiose ideas designed as gifts
have marred the occasion. For one Fourth, thirteen fifths
of white wine, red herring and blueberry Rice Dream.
That embarrassed even me, skipping fireworks and franks.
But I stopped casting for entrees so haute cuisine
since that Labor Day at the shore, serving you banks
of quahogs and scrod and turbot blessed with bourbon.
You nibbled at the squid and asked for ". . . tea with lemon."
For New Year's, I took an Irish cottage in County Clare,
with a large loom and crates of mute yarn. I dyed wool,
but you felt teased, "It's stretching things." On a prayer,
I winged it, a billionaire of false starts - I had to pull
out all the stops: going with marzipan, mango Jell-O
and a root beer float. In a parade of words I declared
a fawn lily is a dogtooth violet, that a metal cello
is tuned an octave below a viola. You were scared
when I picked a peach kimono of willows and peeled suns
to wear last February 14, "A troublesome display."
So this year it's all organic, green: expect peyote buttons,
hemp knee socks, and a mint condition Roberto Clemente
rookie card. And I'm laying out what holds up an arch -
weight, and the transferred force of gravity; trading throws
and afghans as we huddle by the fire waiting for March,
hoping my balloon string doesn't strangle your rose.
John Maloney, poet and stonemason, lives in Chilmark.