Introduction With Thanks To The Writing

James C

Valentine’s Day

I love you and our little Boy
That’s one thing I can say
But our love was not to be
Cause it was Judgement Day

The Prison Chaplain stepped in
Brought us to talk together
We didn’t see eye to eye
I found we wouldn’t be forever

I did my best to be there
I gave all the love I had
And I want my Son to grow up
And learn to call me Dad

We’ve both got new lovers
But I can’t get you to see
I’ll always be there
But you won’t reply to me

4 years have gone by
And my heart still fills with joy
But you’ve moved far away
And taken our little Boy

Where is Cupid now
On Valentine’s Day
Now I’m out of prison
In a town where the demons play

I did my best to be there
I gave all the love I had
And I want my Son to grow up
And learn to call me Dad


This piece also began as longer poem lines, but developed into this ballad form. It was written in the weeks before Valentine’s Day, a time when many of the participants on the project were writing to loved ones. Here Jay talks about his life and the background to the poem:

‘I was on a downward spiral going nowhere. We’d have a few drinks and end up doing stupid things. It started off minor but as we got older, we started getting more stupid and things got more serious. What I got sent down was for robbery. When I went to prison I left my Son and my Girlfriend out on the outside and we drifted apart. She went her separate way, and moved away with my little Boy.

‘In a big way I feel I’ve let not just my Son down but also his Mother. I know it can’t be easy for anyone when a family member goes to prison, but she stayed by me as long as she could. But I couldn’t expect her to stay and wait because I was in there 2 years 9 months. It’s not that I don’t still love her, I do still care about her, but the only mutual tie between us now is our little Boy.

‘When we split up I started writing the occasional bit of poetry to my Baby’s Mother. I never used to keep them when I was in jail, I don’t know why I was embarrassed about it, cause it’s a good way of getting your feelings out on paper.

‘My little Boy’s 4 now. He’s an absolute gem. I haven’t seen him for a year and a half, but he’s beautiful. When he was younger he had blond hair and blue eyes, but his eyes got darker and he started looking more like his Mum.

‘This poem is called Valentine’s Day, and it’s for my Baby’s Mother. I hope she’d like it. I think she would.’