On The Writer’s Almanac today….I’ve always loved this poem.

This Year’s Valentine

by Philip Appleman

They could

   pump frenzy into air ducts

     and rage into reservoirs,

   dynamite dams

     and drown cities,

   cry fire in theaters

     as the victims are burning,


I will find my way through blackened streets

   and kneel down at your side.

They could 

   jump the median, head-on,

     and obliterate the future,

   fit .45’s to the hands of kids

     and skate them off to school,

   flip live butts into tinderbox forests

     and hellfire half the heavens,


in the rubble of smoking cottages

   I will hold you in my arms.

They could

   send kidnappers to kindergartens

     and pedophiles to playgrounds,

   wrap themselves in Old Glory

     and gut the Bill of Rights,

   pound the door with holy screed

     and put an end to reason,


I will cut through their curtains of cunning

   and find you somewhere in the moonlight.

Whatever they do with their anthrax or chainsaws,

however they strip-search or brainwash or blackmail,

they cannot prevent me from sending you robins,

all of them singing: I’ll be there.


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