Jan Chronister

Valentine’s Day

Across the lake
Two Harbors shines sharp in cold air,
breakwater lighthouse beckons,
a flashy ring on a slowly turning finger
in the jeweler’s showcase.

My husband knows better
than to buy me things.
The only women I know
who get gifts are beaten.
The deeper the hurt
the more candy.

Frank’s wife told me
he pulled her off the floor
by her pubic hair
then went out and brought back burgers.

Boyfriend bashed my head
against the baseboard
then gave me a ring.

In February the days are finally
long enough
to take a walk after work.
I think of deer in the woods
chest deep in snow
eating twigs.

Some people feed them
save them to kill later
like abusive spouses bearing Valentines.

Jan Chronister lives and writes in the woods near Maple, Wisconsin. Her chapbook Target Practice was published in 2009 by Parallel Press at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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