Posted by: Colleen Owen Murphy | February 12, 2021


Cora wrestled in her bed 
while thinking of Miss Mae.
She hadn’t been to visit her 
since Grandma went away. 

The lemon scent. The comfy chair. 
The daisies in the vase. 
The Jello cups. The candy mints—
all things she couldn’t face. 

But up until tonight, at least,
she hadn’t thought to care
how all alone Miss Mae would be
without her grandma there.

So Cora tossed her covers off’
retrieved her art supplies,
then cut and colored paper hearts,
each one a different size.

Though Cora tried to wipe her tears,
some landed on her art.
“These should have been for Grandma too.”
She pressed one to her heart.

And then with all the crafting done,
while sitting in her bed,
Cora kissed the heart she held.
“Please give me strength,” she said.  


The smell of pancakes woke her up,
the heart lay on her chest.
She tucked it in her mirror’s frame
then gathered up the rest.

Before she sat for breakfast,
she took her mother’s hand.
“I’m scared, but have to see Miss Mae.”
My dear, I understand.”


“Oh Grandma,” Cora said that night,
“I bet you knew I’d see
those Valentines I gave Miss Mae
were also gifts to me.”

This is an entry for the 6th Annual Valentiny Contest generously brought to you by Susanna Leonard Hill! Writers need to craft a story, written for children, in 214 words are less. The theme is Valentine’s Day and bravery. Here is the link to the contest if you are interested in entering:



  1. What a beautiful, heartfelt, lovely story! Seriously left me teary-eyed! ❤

    • Thank you Laken!

  2. This is so sweet. Nicely done. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • Thank you for reading!

  3. […] + People: Healing Hearts by Colleen […]

    • Samantha, I visited your site and read your blog page. I really enjoyed your shorter entry as well as your extended story. I tried to log in to comment, but WordPress was being difficult.

      Good luck in the contest and even better luck with your writing career. And, the drawings are adorable!

      Lastly, I was honored to see my story listed as one of your favorites. ❤

  4. What a wonderful and touching story, Colleen! You are such a fantastic writer.

    • Thanks Nancy!! I am looking forward to reading your entry!

  5. That was beautiful!

    • Thank you Colleen! LOL. And we even spell it the same!

  6. What a sweet message of friendship. I love the understanding your MC develops through your story.

    • Thank you Rebekah!

  7. Colleen, this is so touching…thank you for this beautiful Valentine gift!

    • Thank you for stopping by to read my story!

  8. Such a lovely, sweet and tender story, Colleen. I’m so glad she went to make Miss Mae’s day special… and her own in the process 😊

    • Thank you for the challenge and for the comments Susanna!

      And I just reread the new directions – the ones printed in RED!!! – and realized I should have just posted in the comments section!! So sorry to make your job a little more challenging. I would post in the comments now, but I think it is too late since I already posted in the blog only section. Ugh!

  9. So rich with feeling. I was tearing up at the end. Bravo!

    • Thank you Armineh!

  10. Oh, my heart. What a beautiful and hopeful message of generosity and courage told in such an expressive, emotional short piece. Your poem is a gift, Colleen.

    • Aww! Your comments are a gift to me. Thank you Anne!

  11. My goodness, that is moving! So tender.

    • Thanks Simon!

  12. What a special story! Way to capture the theme of bravery and Valentines! Well done and good luck to you!

    • Thank you Molly!

  13. Beautiful! I love the sentiment and sweet ending.

    • Thanks Sarah!

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