Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Valentine’s Day love in a poem February 14, 2015

WHEN IS THE LAST TIME you received a handcrafted valentine?

Mine arrived this week via 13-year-old Hannah’s dad handing her homemade valentine to my husband at a church meeting. Randy in turn delivered a yellow construction paper envelope to me.

What a sweet surprise to receive a valentine greeting from this creative teen.

See, I really was busy taking photos, here of Hannah. She's quite the artist who not only paints, but also sews. Plus, she writes poetry.

A photo I snapped of Hannah several years ago as she painted a block on a basement wall. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Hannah, the daughter of dear friends, and I share a special connection. We are creative types. Specifically, we write poetry, the reason Hannah addressed the envelope to “My Poet Pal.” Ah. Melted my heart right then and there.

Hannah's poem, "Snow."

Hannah’s poem, “Snow,” posted in Sibley Park in Mankato.

Several years ago I began mentoring Hannah in poetry. She loves words and rhythm as much as I do. And, like me, she had a poem selected last spring for inclusion in the Mankato Poetry Walk and Ride. You can read all about that by clicking here.

When I lifted the flap on the yellow envelope where Hannah had glittered my name in silver, I was not surprised to find she had penned a valentine poem:

Hannah's poem is especially fitting since I donated blood recently via the American Red Cross. Hannah had no way of knowing this.

Hannah’s poem is especially fitting since I donated blood recently via the American Red Cross. Hannah had no way of knowing this.

Ah…

But wait, there’s more. My valentine is green, not red. Hannah knows that green is my favorite color.

Ah…

If you’ve ever mentored a young person, you know that this nurturing and encouraging and caring blesses you as much as the recipient. To connect, to share a passion—whether in poetry, gardening, crafting, photography—is a gift. A gift.

The valentine Hannah created just for me.

The valentine Hannah created just for me.

This Valentine’s Day, I received more than a handcrafted valentine from Hannah. I received a heart full of love.

IF YOU’VE MENTORED a young person, I’d like to hear about it. Or if you’ve received a handcrafted valentine, I’d like to hear about that, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends!

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Poem is copyrighted by Hannah.

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