This is my Camino. Welcome.

Small winter poem 13 | On Valentine’s Day


I was in line at an inner-city CVS to buy chocolates for a work event when I heard them.

“Come ON,” a voice was saying to his friend, “just take one with one of the roses! You’re taking FOREVER! We’re never going to get out of here.”

And I glanced over. Two teenage guys, in the short aisle decorated in red and hearts today (and, probably, 50% off candy tomorrow).

They were looking at a selection of Valentine’s gifts. The silent one must have a girlfriend, I suppose. There were mugs with stuffed animals and boxes of candies and the other usual things, and he was looking at them, with his exasperated friend along for the ride.

But, the young lover here couldn’t decide. He would pick up one, and then another, balancing them in his hands with slight back-and-forth, like a scale trying to determine worth.

And the louder friend kept getting more frustrated, but the young man kept staying quiet and undecided.

And I wanted to see his face, but I also wanted to leave him in peace…so I did.

I did think it was a moment worth celebrating–the unbalanced unknown of his young love–so fragile and sensitive and even a bit confused.

I smiled, bought my chocolates, and left him to navigate the rough, question-filled waters of life and love with his friend, there in the Valentine’s aisle at CVS pharmacy.

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