Won’t You Be Mine?

Welcome to Author Next Door!

My husband hates buying Valentine cards. He’s a free spirit who doesn’t like other people telling him to buy things on certain occasions so they can make money. Since he’s an artist, he draws and watercolors his own cards for me, which actually is far better than a store-bought card. Over the years we’ve been together, he’s framed several cards he’s made so I can admire them.

He’s the same way about buying romantic gifts for February 14th. Flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries? Sure, just never expect to receive them on that specific date. The nice thing about that, though, is that he brings me spontaneous gifts throughout the year, which I consider so much more romantic. Nice surprises always guarantee good results for the home team.

It was inevitable, then, that the artist turned to me one day and said, “You’re a writer. Write me!” So I did. I wrote a poem for each of the first twelve months we dated, including in each poem some of the challenges we faced at that stage of growing into a couple.

One of my favorite poems is “Two Months,” which I used in my ninth grade classroom as an example for analyzing poetry. Until we finished, the students didn’t know who wrote the poem or the circumstances which inspired it. Upon finding out I wrote the poem, they always wanted to know the story behind it. It’s one of my favorite stories, too: As we were talking on the phone one Saturday before going out later, my future husband was planting flowers in his backyard. I told him that I wasn’t good with plants, that I had two bronze planters on my porch sitting empty. When he showed up that evening for our date, he brought with him potting soil and planted Sweet William in both planters. The vibrant colors were beautiful! That’s when I knew that my own William was sweet, and if the other shoe didn’t fall, he could be “the one.”

This year we will celebrate twenty years of marriage. The time has flown by, which means we’ve been having fun. Here’s to my sweet William, my very special valentine, and to twenty more happy years together!

Karen Taylor Saunders