Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine poet laureate.

Who says the celebration of St. Valentine should be over? Not Linda Aldrich, who writes that today’s tribute to love was composed when she was snowbound and without a Valentine’s gift for her husband – whereupon, she says, “I made a card out of scrap paper and wrote this poem to go inside.”

Valentine

By Linda Aldrich

for David

In that fragile turn of time just out of sleep

before memory of what this year has been,

you bring wood to start the fire. It snowed again.

To grind coffee quietly is impossible, but you keep

the radio volume low. I don’t know when you first

brought me coffee in bed. My mother died

six months ago. I was preoccupied

and didn’t notice the first warm cup, though

once I heard you whisper the dog back into bed

so I could feel the comfort of his head against my feet.

Loss begets loss (or so I’ve heard it said),

but there’s finding, too, and the heart’s repletion,

so put the cup down on the table, love.

Let the body of our sonnet find completion.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Linda Aldrich. Reprinted from “March and Mad Women,” Cherry Grove Collections, 2012, by permission of Linda Aldrich. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc at [email protected] or (207) 228-8263. “Take Heart: Poems from Maine,” an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.