The February of my love
is cold as frozen mists,
ill-tempered as its short and sunless days,
unhopeful as the constant beat of steel-grey rain
upon dull window pane —

She will not smile,
but seeks security in solemn ritual
at sink and ironing board.

Ho, gay December,
bright with gifts and well-worn tinsel,
wherefore are you now? All gone.

And two-faced January,
bringing New Year's hope of resolution,
did you turn away before your task was done?

So be it — February now,
and fourteen days of shortest, meanest, doleful month
have nearly passed us by —

St Valentine!

I mumble my excuses, leave the room,
take key and coat, and quickly stride to corner shop.

Returned, I smile —
and after some short interval to choose my moment,
proffer with good words
the card, the chocolates,
and, last not least, the smiling "Hug You" bear,
beribboned in his perfect perspex cage.

I wait eternally — she finishes a garment —
have I paid sufficiently for my neglect?

She will not tell me so,
but, look, a subtle change —
a thawing of the eyes,
an easing of the mouth,
a silent nodding to the cupboard
where I go to find
a card, a bottle, and a cuddly toy.

I glance at her — she loves me now,
as if I'd ever doubt it, see —
she even irons my socks!
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