Midlife Valentine


You will not believe me when I tell you there are years

you will want nothing more than sleep and to be kissed

senseless by the quiet.


There were other years you thought you needed beauty

the way the girls in fairy tales need magic rings, or locks

of hair, or golden coins, a talking bird, a shoe.


You will not believe me when I tell you it’s the wanting

that you’ll miss the most once your lap is full of everything

you thought you’d go without.


Those years you made a compass of desire, the way

you make a paper heart by folding it in half,

and cutting what is left of it away.

JEN STEWART FUESTON is a poet and freelance writer. Her poems have been published in a number of journals, most recently Mom Egg Review, Pilgrimage, and Ruminate. Her chapbook, Visitations, was published in 2015. She has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey, and Lithuania. Jen lives in Longmont, Colorado and keeps busy chasing her two young sons, podcasting, pitching pop-culture articles and working on a couple new chapbooks.