I Gave My Love Twelve Chocolate-Covered Cherries in a Red Cardboard Box for Valentine’s Day

Everyone is entitled to a little larceny — a minister I once heard.

From the grocery shelf above the pressed sugar hearts that say

______Love me
______Need me
______Taste me
______Want you

Candymakers make up the cherry box for a dozen.
Each treat nestles in a molded brown cup
so that nothing pops the gooey red balloons
in transit. Trays so precise with enough air space
I imagined twenty-four cherries in the store.

Six for me. Six for him.
Dark chocolate, not English.
A taste of syrup cirrus clouds
on the blooming orchard.

I’m sneaky and cocoa craving.
He has diabetes.
I help.

First one extra. Seven to five. He’s down two.
Then eight to four. An uneven score.

So I gave him stones.
Polished river stones the size of pits
to keep forever.


Tricia Knoll is a Vermont poet whose work appears widely in journals and anthologies. For her Valentine’s Day is heavily associated with chocolate. Website: triciaknoll.com