Friday, February 23, 2024

Poetry Friday: Love Letters to February

The challenge this month was to write a poem in the form of a love letter, taking a cue from Valentine's Day, I suppose.  I don't have anything against V-Day, but somehow, February brings out a stubborn streak in me.  In 2010, and again in 2020, I wrote a semi-tirade to this month, chastening it for its behavior.  And (maybe because it's a leap year again) I'm returning to my old friend this year, too. 

Here's a record of our correspondence: 


Oh, February, oh February 

You make my heart sing, you do,
were it not for blinding blizzards…and the swine-iest of flu.

Oh, February, far too short the days
to count the shades of grayest grays

you send me, year after weary year.
If I were you, I'd watch my back, dear;

such nuanced love cannot last
before I exchange you for something less…overcast.

Oh, February, love is patient, love is kind;
love doesn't leave you disinclined

to climb from underneath the warmest covers
to join the bitterest, iciest, and brutalist of lovers

on the barren street, no less! to watch how much snow
you can blow and blow and blow---some beau

you are. But how can I call it quits
when you bite my cheeks and grab my wrists

kissing color into my frozen face---
Oh, February, let's March on apace!

               ---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)


Oh, February, oh February 

You make my heart sing, you do…
Were it not for days of sixty degrees, and nights of minus two!

Tulips bloom, then crack to ice before they can be kissed;
Lovers sweat, then freeze to death if they dare outdoor trysts.

And what’s with the extra day you want to stuff
Into a month that already has it rough,

What with viruses ravaging the land,
And Astros not apologizing for whacking on a can?

February, I know claimed I was no quitter,
But that was when I thought you merely icy, brutal, bitter—

Now you unleash forest fires, and dump tornados in my lap; 
I wouldn’t swipe right on you, not on any dating app!

So cut it out, February, you heartless fool.
Be true. Be you. Go back to being cool.

-----Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved) 

And here is my letter to February for 2024:

Oh, February, oh February,

It’s been four years since my last note,
and fourteen since I first wrote—

and since your time is almost through
I really shouldn’t be emailing you—

but last night I dreamt a frost with bracing
fingers crept into my bed, lacing  

the worn stairs of my cheeks with steely filigree
and veiling my silvering hair with blustery

crackling snow, until I shone slick
as glacier ice; as bright as magic—

cold breaking stone,
once again that girl, half-grown

you teased with bitter wind and bite—
oh, February, waking in slanted winter light,

I know better than to warm my heart
to you, even now years apart;

I’ll delete this letter, even if I do—
occasionally— think very coldly of you.

---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)

My poetry sisters love letter poems are here:


Poetry Friday is hosted today by Tabitha at The Opposite of Indifference.