The heart, the organ donned in electric pinks and vibrant reds for Valentines Day, encourage so many poets to write verse. What a lot of fuss. Frieda and her husband don’t follow this tradition.
In her teenage years there were times when she was aware of her heart racing; with the excitement and the agitation of love that sent her rhythm into presto and appassionato. Not just in her teenage years, she supposes, though it all seems so long ago. In that state of high alert, she did stupid things that she’d rather forget. She and Helen Young sat together in Grade Four. They both fell for the new boy, Walter Wright, who sat directly behind them. He wore long trousers. None of the other boys did. It made him seem so grown up. Helen and Frieda went down to Coles and pooled their money to buy him a 1/6 d watercolour paint set. They secretly wrapped it and placed it in his desk for Valentine’s Day. They never knew if he ever guessed who had put it there.
Frieda feels she’s been oblivious for decades to the selfless dedication of her pumping heart. It’s reliable ticking, like a metronome, continuing without payment or praise. Those memories from the past are best forgotten. She should pay more attention to the present and to her time signature of adagio and even adagissimo.
Now in her eighth decade an occasional twinge will remind her that life is finite. Should she give up rich and sumptuous foods to ease the burden on her heart? No, life is to be lived to the full, with that she gives thanks to the universe. When the metronome stops, she’ll be grateful to have lived a full and happy life.
Barbara Pyett February 2017