February 13, 2018

Sally Ashton

LET’S GET RID OF VALENTINE’S DAY AND REPLACE IT WITH SECOND HALLOWEEN

You know an idea’s hot
when it has 126,876
Facebook likes before you’ve
even seen it and it’s only
mid-January. Already thousands
are dreading the Day
in spite of those yummy
conversation hearts and gummy
bears that spill from aisle-caps in every
store making their appearance
in my CVS December 26th
along with hearts pierced by arrows
which is possibly one of the reasons
many of us would rather
bring back the Halloween displays
witches spiders and monsters
the bloody fingers and mummies
ax murderers and vampires,
zombies and ghosts, even
the French maids or sexy costumes
for men which unfortunately
are more ludicrous than sexy
my favorite however being the Golden
Dong—Google it—which seems
to bring us somewhat back around
to the problem with Valentine’s Day
and why many of us would prefer
to apply fake scars and warts rather
than face the sickly array of red satin
lace and roses, the profit-driven
reminder to get it on. What’s the point
of a holiday that excludes nearly
half of us, those who for whatever
reason identified as “single”
on the last county census though many
choose “single” vs the only other choice,
“married,” so who knows
what really goes on
behind closed doors but Halloween
is all about opening doors and giving
away something sweet to whoever
is standing there no matter what
they look like or who they are—perfect
strangers—and all anyone has to do
is hold out a bag and ask

from Poets Respond
February 13, 2018

[download audio]

__________

Sally Ashton: “This is a poem in response to Valentine’s Day via a random Facebook post that appeared in my newsfeed. The poem expresses what seems to be a widespread reaction to an awkward, often-dreaded holiday that loudly separates the ‘haves’ from the ‘have-nots.’ Valentine’s Day not only marginalizes millions of people, it serves to ostracize or even break the hearts of people who, for whatever reason, are partner-less. Cupid’s cruel and heartless slings and arrows. I’ve been part of an annual Valentine’s reading for nine years and play the role of the anti-Valentine for this same reason.” (web)

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