Do Not Be My Valentine

 Please, do not be my Valentine —
Not if you need another’s rhyme
Perfumed upon a Hallmark card,
Not if you need a diamond heart
Or gift-wrapped box of chocolate
And proof of purchase from your mate. 

 Please do not be my Valentine
If fancy dinner is on your mind,
If money must this way love buy
Then let another your love try —
But up his ante to Corvette,
Or villa, mink or bedroom set.

Please do not be my Valentine
If once a year for auld lang syne
New lover’s passion I must revive
To keep our love affair alive,
Then on the morn of Feb. fifteen
Return our love to where it’s been.

But if these shows you won’t require
Then Baby, come re-light my fire:
Just find and wear that negligee,
Gift from a prior Valentine’s Day,
Tip-toe to my door, bring some wine,
Come in and be my Valentine.


With Love to Play

 When we first served to play our game of love
Love-all was just a score we had to break,
But rallies filled with thrilling give and take
Soon gained advantage for our every move.

To open court we served with change of pace
And took the lead at love without exchange,
Then gave it back in full before the change

Returning to receive with open face.
And so with matchless play by two as one,
Without a call of fault for either side
Nor unforced error made to break the tie
Our game went on and on in perfect run. 

And now we let our match run day by day
To hold at love and love--- with love to play

Valentine Morning 2005

(For Marjorie)


Wrapped in your share of 
sleeping beside me, a touch away,
a world of sleep apart, who are you really?
Are you roaming secret worlds, worlds
in which I do not exist, am not your lover
or just one of many?

I cannot ever know, the shield of self
locks us out of each other: uncertainty
insists we never know each other fully— 

In separate universes of dream
we pull further and further apart until
the burst of waking —

 drowsy embrace folds us together again —
discovery ignites our morning of love.


Please, Not Another Valentine
(As told and told to Joe Pacheco)

Please, not another valentine,
Unload the dishwasher instead.
Tell the muse to pick up your shoes,
And let her help you make the bed.
Don’t profess your love in rhyme,
Just prepare the recycle bins,
Such a chore can’t be a bore
If that’s how second love begins.
Forget the dinner and the dance,
Pick up that clothing on the floor.
Diamonds and gems, roses with stems
Simply won’t hack it anymore.
One Valentine’s Day we made a wish:
“Always together whatever comes”.  
Today I wish you’d rinse your dish
And clear the table of its crumbs.
The only time you’ve ever vacuumed
Is still fresh in my mind:
You left no trace of the broken vase
That once contained my valentine.
No need for heart-shaped I-Pods,
Or other gifts to buy online.
Make less of a mess, ease my stress—
Then I will be your Valentine.