Valentine's Afternoon

By Michael McFee Michael McFee
Four lanes over, a plump helium heart—   

slipped, maybe, from some kid's wrist               
or a rushed lover's empty front seat   

through a half-cracked car window—   

rises like a shiny purple cloudlet   
toward today's gray mess of clouds,   

trailing its gold ribbon like lightning   

that will never strike anything   
or anyone here on the forsaken ground,   

its bold LOVE increasingly illegible   

as it ascends over the frozen oaks,   
riding swift currents toward the horizon,   

a swollen word wobbling out of sight.

Source: Poetry (February 2002).


This poem originally appeared in the February 2002 issue of Poetry magazine

View this poem in its original format

February 2002
 Michael  McFee


Poet, critic, and editor Michael McFee was born in Asheville, North Carolina and earned both his BA and MA at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
McFee’s poems, often set in his native North Carolina, are grounded in the particulars of place even as they explore themes of loss, memory, and family life. As Jake Adam York observed in his introduction to McFee’s work in the journal StorySouth, “McFee’s convincing power . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Michael McFee

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Imagery

Report a problem with this poem

Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.