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Literary Hook: A Valentine’s tribute ‘for whom I write these poems’
By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
Valentine’s Day is here. You would think that a poet would write lots of love poetry, but actually, I tend not to write romantic poetry. Instead, I gravitate toward writing poems praising various ìmythologicalî people. I guess you could call this poem a love poem. It is to the people for whom I write. It was inspired at the chiropractor’s office. I was thinking about how hopeful we are regarding our healing and moving forward with our lives, despite evidence to the contrary. I let the poem have a life of its own, leading me somewhere I didn’t expect to go. So, happy Valentine’s Day, you.
You’re the One
You sit in the chiropractor’s office waiting
to have your spine straightened and
You’re here because so many forces
have conspired to bring about your misalignment:
your first fall from the big Schwinn,
the accident which sent you rolling in a
cornfield,a lifetime of improper lifting,
the extra weight garnered slowly
to make up for the large girth of losses
the middle-aged mind readily conjures
before it begins its great journey of forgetting.
Perhaps you have had no luck with established therapies and wish to ward off intentional wounds, your scars already knit from misappropriated cruelties, snares, and scrapes collected on this blue, imperfect planet. Yet here you are, hopeful in your glorious misalignment, still eager for healing heading forward, reading a recipe you might just try for dinner. Misaligned or not, you stay the course, despite the urn of mistakes sitting on your mantel. My dear Mislocated, Misconstrued, Misshapened, Mismanaged, and Mischievous, it’s You. You’re the one for whom I write these poems. This poem was first published in Louisville Review and again in a chapbook created
by the Neville Public Museum (Green Bay, Wis.).
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet.
From the Feb. 10-16, 2010 issue