John D.Porter: Valentine for Sylvia

Weather one more bitter winter. Wait for me
and I'll be eight. Wait for me
and I will steal away to London in a gypsy caravan,
riding with the rag and bone man through the frost
and through the fog.
Wait for me

and I will decorate your kitchen walls with paper hearts
and poetry. I will greet you when you lift your head. Arise,

arise to weather one more bitter week.
I will rock the babies while you sleep
and kiss away your tears and kiss your ruby lips.
My face is small,
my face is smooth, unscarred. My heart is pure,
my heart is old.
Wait for me.

Wait for me. Weather three more bitter nights
and I will bring you crocusses,
crisp and white and wormy from the fields,
and lichens, scraped from millstones. Look:
My fingers are musty and raw, my fingers are black with loam. I love you.

I love you. Weather one more bitter night and wait for me,
wait for me. I waited in the crawlspace of the hollow oak
with wintering bees.
I waited in the February rain. Wait for me.

Wait for me.
I cannot find the gypsy camp, just
hoofprints deep in February muck.
I cannot find the road to London in the country dark. Wait for me.
Wait for me.