A Valentine’s Day Love Poem Just for You

Did you know there were at least seven Saint Valentines (and one Saint Valentina) martyred throughout history for holding fast to their hope, faith, and love? Love is not for the faint of heart. Even the best moments in love require the courage to receive them—and the worst ones, well, those leave us gasping for air. But somewhere along the way, I learned that the name Valentine means “strength and capacity,” and it seemed just about perfect.

And so, today I offer a Valentine for those who are feeling strong and capable in love. And for all the rest of us too.


To those who are
living for,
longing for,
fighting for,
and searching for it.

To those who have
lost it
so recently
the shadow of it
still lingers
in the doorway.

To those who are
longing for it
so earnestly
the very thought of it
is both intoxicating
and cruel.

To those who have
found it
so completely
they simply can’t contain
the heart-pounding
joy of it.

To those who can’t
how it feels to
actually feel it,
and those who are
watching it slip through
their fingers,
and those who have had it
savagely torn
from their arms,
and those who swear
they never want it

To those who are
from the very first
of its blooming possibility.

To those who are
the hard work
and everyday ordinariness
of it.

To those who believe
they’ll never have it
the way they actually
want it.

To those who can
only seem to find it
from afar,
all star-crossed
and alone.

To those who aren’t
really sure
what it even is.

To those who have
discovered it
exactly in the place
where they thought
they never would.

And to all of us
who are struggling
to give it
to ourselves
and accept it
from others.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Happy Day of Strength, friends.

May your capacity be expanded in all the most gentle and beautiful ways.


Illustration by Black Lamb Studio

Julie Rybarczyk is a freelance writer, fair-weather blogger, and well-intentioned mom who has almost never remembered to send lunch money to school. She’s perpetually the chilliest person living in Minneapolis—so most of the year you’ll find her under layers of wool, behind steaming cups of tea. Or at  shortsandlongs.net.