Bio Note: I live in Mays Landing near the Jersey shore. After my husband Bill Higginson died in 2008, I moved here from North Jersey to be near my daughter and family. I have been writing poems for decades and am grateful the muse is still finding me. I have been blessed to "meet" many fine poets in this V-V village, some of whom have become good virtual friends, and I cherish the memory of Firestone Feinberg who started our Village. My three most recent books are A Prayer the Body Makes (Kelsay Books / Aldrich Press, 2020); The Resonance Around Us (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2013); and Recycling Starlight (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2010).
While Driving on Valentine’s Day
In this early February spring light falls on the pale field of weeds, on the dull red bricks of the old school, the rows of gravestones and the passing cars. Spring light enters my body and rises bubbling until my arms embrace the steering wheel and my mouth delights in the shape of your name. In this early February spring light traces our coming together in the winter wind.
Originally published in Lovepoems, 1981, Old Plate Press
Valentine’s Day at the Spousal Loss Support Group
One by one, they straggle in, some bringing heart-shaped boxes of candy to give the rest, others with simple Valentines bearing heartfelt notes of thanks to the group for mutual support. And then she enters, a bit late, a box of gooey donuts in her hand, their garish icing gleaming through the cellophane box lid— more than enough for all. Widowed now for two years, she’s brought a variety—some iced with sticky chocolate, some neon pink, and some glazed vanilla topped with multi-colored sprinkles. She’s sorry she was late, but she stopped to pick them up on her way because it’s Valentine’s Day, her husband was a cop, and they always had donuts down at the station. We pass the box around, carefully lift out our choices, placing them on the red napkins she’s also thought to bring. We always go out to lunch after meetings, and many of us shouldn’t be eating this much sugar, or don’t really like such rich and gooey treats, but we eat them together while sharing our memories, tempering the bitter with the sweet.
Originally published in A Prayer the Body Makes, Kelsay Books, 2020
©2021 Penny Harter
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