Paper Heart
by Sharon Auberle

The bottom of her heart
was thin as tissue paper,

I doubled it over...
the surgeon told me,
emerging after eight hours
and after all these years

I still picture her heart that day–
a red paper valentine,
wrinkled and fragile from handling,
though we were both wrong.
That heart of hers beat fiercely
for fifteen years longer
till the day she said
I'm tired, it's time to go and I knew there would never
be another valentine
written in the finest hand,
words dancing across the page,
elegant and full of grace.

Saturday Nights at the Crystal Ball, published by Cross+Roads Press.

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