“Cupid Sings the Blues” by Barbara Leonhard

I.
February 14, the day of roses.
Chocolate-covered strawberries
crave the open palm.

The heart, the seat of emotion, 
shapes balloons. Decorates 
hand-made cards.

Flirty invitations. Bee Mine. 
#Love. UR Hot. Hug Me.
Say Yes. My Baby. Crazy 4U.

One girl. Her bag, half full.
The cute boy in the third row
still doesn’t know that she exists.

Guys search Hallmark greetings
for the perfect sentiments to match 
the tad-wilted bouquet

in a crystal vase chipped by haste.
She expects a ring with dessert,
Finally. This year. Possibly?

An imposter Elvis officiates a free mass wedding
at Adelphia Restaurant in New Jersey,
from 6 to 10 p.m. 

What plays in Vegas -
these days -
doesn’t stay in Vegas.

Families quiet for Taco Night at Panchero’s. 
Even the toddler clasps a toy phone 
throughout their Saint Valentine’s Feast. 

II.
Saint Valentine -
the Roman priest
or the bishop from Terni?

The Valentine who cut hearts from parchment 
for persecuted Christians
to remind them of God’s love? 

The one who gave sight
to his jailor’s blind daughter, 
to whom he wrote, “From your Valentine”?

The one tortured and beheaded
in Rome on February 14, 269,
after refusing to renounce his faith?

Is that his skull adorned with flowers
in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome?
His relics, on display in Dublin?

Legends may offer us 
more than one Valentine
in a treat bag - But

only one Saint Valentine, 
the Roman martyr, to whom we trace 
our day for love.

III.
So much heart we pour
into our frilly bags of hope
though we know

the sentiments cannot relieve
our sense of disconnection, 
the duality of self and other.

Though surrounded by a hundred couples
Sharing a ritual of courtly love 
blessed by Elvis,

or the entire family at a taco feast,
or a classroom of celebrants
consuming witty conversations,

we still feel deeply alone, 
spiraling 
with other solitary souls,

smacking into others’ glossy shadows,
bouncing away,
fluttering into the clouds,

the feathers 
of dead doves 
caught in an updraft.

And not even Cupid
can aim his arrow
to avoid piercing our eyes.

And not even the Saint
can get us 
to see.

Copyright © 2023 Barbara Harris Leonhard
All Rights Reserved

Barbara is author of Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir (EIF- Experiments in Fiction, 2022). A poem from this collection was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2022. Also, on Spillwords, Barbara was voted Author of the Month of October 2021, nominated Author of the Year for 2021, and recognized as a Spillwords Socialite of the Year in 2021. In November 2022, she became Editor for MasticadoresUSA. Barbara enjoys bringing writers together and has been sponsoring open mics and readings on Zoom during the pandemic.

Featured Image: Courtesy of Pixabay.

Editor: Barbara Harris Leonhard

Amazon Best-Selling Author

Three-Penny Memories: A Poetic Memoir (EIF-Experiments in Fiction, 2022)

Pushcart Nominee, 2022

MasticadoresUSA is open for submissions. Send your submissions to meelosmom@gmail.com

Facebook: Barbara Harris Leonhard /barbara.leonhard

Twitter: @BarbaraLeonhar4

Instagram: @meelosmom123

Linked In: ExtraordinarySunshineWeaver

Mastodon: @BarbaraLeonhard@msdtn.social

Divider Image: by GDJ on Pixabay

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19 Comentarios Agrega el tuyo

  1. Beautiful thoughts in beautiful words Barbara. So powerfully written and so filled with truth. All the best.

    Le gusta a 1 persona

    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Thank you, Francis! I’m happy you like it.

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  2. ‘glossy shadows’ loved it all but that was great. 🙂

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    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Thank you much, Richard!

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      1. Always a pleasure 🙂

        Le gusta a 1 persona

  3. You’re welcome Barbara.

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  4. Ingrid dice:

    A thoughtful valentine’s poem, with much historical perspective. I enjoyed this, Barbara!

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  5. Love your beautiful ode to St. Valentine, cupid and Elvis so heartfelt with history and fun frilly treats Barbara!!!!!!!!!! 💞

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    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Thank you, Cindy! I wanted it to be fun but also a comment on how we sometimes don’t look at love with open eyes.

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      1. its soooo true and important to register Barbara!💞

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  6. jonicaggiano dice:

    This is truly an interesting piece. I love the references to those little candies, which we use to glue onto homemade valentines . However, I see so much more in these piece. When I read this piece it is almost like a warning, a reminder to be realistic and look at is all around us:

    «we still feel deeply alone,
    spiraling
    with other lonely souls,

    smacking into others’ glossy shadows,
    bouncing away,
    fluttering into the clouds,»

    There is so much sadness in the world and St. Valentines Day is not enough, we need to start living with love. What a great piece Barbara, I just love it. Hugs and Happy Friday, Joni

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    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Thank you, Joni. The ending to the poem was a reminder to open our eyes to the deeper aspects of love. Thank you for replying!

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  7. This is such a beautiful and profound poem, Barbara!

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    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Thank you, Dawn. ♥️♥️♥️

      Le gusta a 2 personas

    1. Meelosmom dice:

      Thank you, Jeff! 🌹

      Le gusta a 2 personas

      1. Jeff Flesch dice:

        You’re welcome, Barbara! Always. 😁

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