I. Valentine Party, Third Grade

the words danced for me
simple, direct
“I love you”
block printed on the back
of the folded cartoon character

I meant each word
deeper than I knew
as I wrote them
then placed the white envelope
in her valentine mailbox

during the party
as Mrs. Nugent passed
around some mom’s cupcakes
Kathy opened my valentine
my heart formed from words

she looked at me across the room
smiled into my blush
then showed my card, my words
to Ronna, Ronna
of the kool-aid stained mouth

and laughed- –
laughed at my words
my heart
my small voice
I was speechless

(November 2010)

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