It was just a homemade valentine
with smudged fingerprints of glue.
The heart had ragged edges
and the arrow wasn’t true.
But it brought a longed-for message
to a lonely grandma’s room.
It brought a ray of sunshine
that chased away the gloom.
It was a caring child’s creation;
thank God she didn’t know
the grimy hands that made it
died just two days ago,
beaten by a father
whose drunken eyes are dry.
Crooked letters say, “I love you.”
Those words will never die.
Jean, at 82, has been writing poems since she was 18. For 25 years she published a popular poetry quarterly of up to 100 pages, with a subscribership of nearly 500. Illness in 1986 ended the magazine. She published The Jokester, by email, a 2-page monthly of clean humor. Many of our Whispers’ contributors were published in various editions. October 2016 was her last issue.