MN poetry: Terri Ford’s “Valentine”

Terri Ford is the author of “Why the Ships are She” and “Hams Beneath the Firmament.” She was profiled in June of 2004 in the Minneapolis newspaper City Pages as one of five Minnesota poets who might be the state Poet Laureate if Minnesota had one. She currently lives in triumph in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she hopes to change at least the lipstick on the face of Minnesota poetry.


Hovering insectile love. Fretful love, every

two mile check-up love, nerve pill rope-end indecisive highly

diagnostic love. Bracing love. Speedy

love. Medieval leeching what ho troubadour head-

lopping dulcimer lost

ark love. Manifesto

love. Give up the throne

love. Love as truce. Tectonic plate

rearrangement love. Ultimatum bad

dog love. Ziplock

suffocation love. Bottom

feeder plankton love. Trophy preener

improvement love. Pink pluming

hope burning diary teen

reversion love. Blurt

out love. Perpendicular

gridlock love, hall

monitor love, detention love. Bad

press love. Half-Nelson Gladiator

headlock uncle you say it blood-

spitting hard-breathing down

for count head

injury love. Log-rolling jolly

motion river gusto wet and

galvanized love. Sympathetic

Red Cross love. Sinatra, Iglesias, Don Ho, Yo-

Yo, Dvorák, Monk Chant, Yanni love. Not entirely

believable love. Wild

love, burned at the stake love, iron

lung love, bone marrow pacemaker

toupee love. Love in remission,

amputee love, Federal Witness

Protection love, in hiding subtext

Morse Code spy love. Revisionist

love. Open book test

love. Boundless applause in the front

row love. AFrican trumpeting large

flap love. Stealth Bomber

love. Slow me down

love. Keyhole light

love. Pebbled

bird’s egg love. Name it to

your face love, woke

up love, count on it

stouthearted no-leak no-fault

high octane 911 in the daylight unashamed

lon haul fearful but right here intergalactic

Hovercraft love.

– “Valentine” from Where the Ships Are She by Terri Ford. Reprinted with permission of Four Way Books. All rights reserved.