(almost) valentine’s day

by mandaceehb

overkill of yellow, orange and pink sunflowers

emerging deformed from rock-heavy schoolbags

sudden influx of chocolate and affection

heart-shaped balloons bobbing behind ponytails

alone; in twos and threes

what strikes me most

is the grandfather on the train who

envelops his little girl in his lap,

his little girl in a pink top and minnie mouse jeans

who rests protected from time hurtling forward

in this dark tube that none of us completely fathom

he lulls her to sleep in his reassuring embrace

when she wakes up and it is valentine’s day no more

still she will find his hand on her shoulder

head jerking upwards intermittently as he tries not to fall asleep