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Sanibel Poet Joe Pacheco’s Love Poem for Leap Day

Sanibel Island Poet Joe Pacheco

Our annual solar calendar is based on Earth’s revolution around the Sun, which takes 365 days to complete.  Actually, a full revolution takes 365 days and about six hours; That’s why every four years we compensate for that lag by adding an extra day to the month of February known as Leap Day.  Saturday, February 29 will mark just such a day.  Cultures and folk traditions the world over have developed their own beliefs and customs regarding Leap Day, many of which concern romantic love.  So, just ahead of Leap day and on the heels of Valentine’s Day, Sanibel Poet Joe Pacheco brings us a love poem, just for Leap Day.

Pacheco is among the Southwest Florida poets who will recite their work, including this poem, at the next “Sanibel Island Writers Read” event Wednesday, March 18th at 7:30 p.m. at BIG ARTS’ Herb Strauss Theater on Sanibel Island. 

Pacheco will also b reading at ArtPoems March 25 at 7:00 p.m. in the Rush Auditorium at Florida Southwestern State College in Fort Myers. 

We’ll also hear more poetry from Pacheco in a future episode of WGCU’s “Gulf Coast Life Arts Edition,” ahead of the 20th annual Sanibel Poetry Fest in April. 

Love Poem for Leap Day 2020 (Inspired by Pablo Neruda)   On this extra day, I can recite the happiest verses.   I can recite, for example, on this extra day, “the eye of heaven shines …. as in eternal lines to time thou growest.”   Or on this day I can recite the happiest lines possible. “I still love you and you still love me.”   On a day like this I can hold you in my arms And kiss you under the warm embracing sky.   You’ve loved me so much how could I not love you, Not love the blue universe of your eyes.   On this extra day, I can recite the happiest lines: To think that I still have you, have not lost you, Feel the wonder of this extra day Made more wondrous because of you.   What does it matter that others cannot keep their love? Today is luminous, glowing, shining — because you are with me.   And that is not all. This extra day will leap into extra night, Stars will burn bolder in the magic sky, the Man Or Woman in the Moon will beam down upon us, We will lie down once again in each other’s arms   And I will write and recite the happiest verses.                                                                                                           -Joe Pacheco

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