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Ode to the Apostrophe

Elizabeth Zetlin
From:   The Thing With Feathers. BuschekBooks.


Hey you, hanging
over us like a grenade
or a kernel of truth,
I bet you're tall, dark,
muscular as a messenger
of the gods. Though these days
you probably doge traffic
on a ten speed, charge
up stairs to deliver whatever
we can't live without,
have forgotten or left out.
You're quick, to the point.
You never forget
what you stand in for.

But brevity is not the soul.

You change the cadence of thought,
address loss, inevitable sword
suspended by a hair above our heads.
Kind of like a poet, aren't you?
Or a politician. You take
a lot of abuse for the job you do.
People don't know when to use you,
when to leave you out.
If we want to say "it is,"
then we should use "apostrophe s."
It's.
You replace the "I" of "is."

When you're there it means
something is missing.
Otherwise, we don't use you
and its is possessive, as in-
The word lost its meaning.
So simple. But you'd be amazed
at the number of people who still
confuse the statement of being
with the act of possession.



Elizabeth Zetlin's works copyright © to the author.


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