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The Feast Of St. Valentine

Bert Almon

Edmonton/Stettler/Edmonton

Imagine-
spending Valentine's Day
fetching a side of beef from the country:
that's what our son called out as we drove away.
Romance is where you find it, I thought.

While the butcher's boy fetched the hand truck
full of rock-hard packages from the freezer,
I looked over the paper on the wall,
the Licence to Operate an Abattoir.
When I first saw abattoir in a book
I thought it was the most beautiful word
in the world. Romance is how you hear it.
Once I was sure that venison
must be the best meat in the world,
just from the sound of it. It meant
hunting in Sherwood Forest with Maid Marian
and the feasting and music afterward.
You and I can make a feast with hamburger.
Romance is how you taste it.

We had lunch with your relatives
in the White Goose Restaurant,
where Valentine's meant paper hearts on the walls,
a rose on each table. Your brother,
who raised that frozen critter,
kidded me, saying we men had better have oysters
if it's Valentine's day. I did, and all the way
to the city I thought of roses:
the antique shop called The White Rose
made me remember the old brands,
Five Roses Flour and Four Roses Whisky,
the little miracles of yeast.
Romance is where you see it.
Just before the city, we drove by
The Lucky Horseshoe Ranch,
a most auspicious name,
and my heart raced in a delirium
brought on by the oysters,
or Cupid nudging me in the ribs with an arrow.
Romance is how you feel it.


Bert Almon's works copyright © to the author.


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