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.


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


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.


14 Responses to “Valentine’s Day love in a poem”

  1. So sweet. Happy valentines day!

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    The last handmade Valentine’s was from my mother’s parents. Grandma was Danish, and she was known for her whimsical handcrafted items. Most special dinners she made her own party favors at each place setting. Usually, it was something that could be used again (like refrigerator magnets!). Valentines cards were handmade with felt and paper doilies, and cutouts of cupid and hearts. I still have one tucked away in a memory box I keep in a closet. I still have a couple of refrigerator magnets too. One is a little mouse made from 1/2 a walnut shell with felt tail, legs and ears, with stick on googly eyes. They’re treasures that remind me of the love her hands created. Happy Valentine’s Day to you Audrey!

    • Those sounds like absolute treasures. Your grandma sounds like a wonderfully creative woman.

      This past fall I got some of my mom’s valentines and displayed about half a dozen this year. They aren’t handcrafted, but are ones she received from classmates, etc.

  3. Jackie Says:

    I can tell that that there is a mutual adoration here…, Love the poem she wrote for you, so creative. Oh and to go with your favorite Green color is perfect….way to go “outside the box” Hannah. Such a special friendship you have Audrey!

  4. Jenny Says:

    I think Hannah’s parents have done their job wonderfully! 🙂 What a sweet girl!

  5. Kathleen Cassen Mickelson Says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Audrey! What a sweet card Hannah made for you. It would be fun to show her that card when she’s an adult and has moved on to giving Valentines to a significant other. 🙂

  6. Thread crazy Says:

    Happy Valentines to you too! It’s been a few years since I received a handmade valentine but I have saved them all from the grandchildren. You and Hannah have a special bond – how precious.

  7. Beth Ann Says:

    Sweet Valentine from Hannah—no doubt about it. Love it. Hope your day included more than basement work. 🙂 ❤

    • Basement work pretty much summed up my weekend, although I did sneak out to deliver valentine treats on Saturday. Also attended Family Game Night at church on Valentine’s Day. And, of course, Sunday morning worship services.

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