A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Few anymore remain who know
what an apostrophe is for
or so it seems to some of us,
half schooled ourselves in parts of speech,
who nonetheless recoil to see
plural’s placed possessively
and then the other way around,
possessives mark just overlooked.
Liz thinks we ought to have a day
devoted to apostrophes
in which we add or rub them out
in bands of roving grammar louts.
Imagine how I’d smear the chalk
from all those signs in Berwick Street
scrawled near piles of fruit and veg:
tomato’s, cucumber’s, and beet’s,
and how I’d roam down Oxford Street,
magic marker tight in hand,
to doctor all those printed signs,
like “LONDONS BEST DRESSED PEOPLE WEAR.”
And its, my God, the it’s I’d change
(snickers, chortles as I’d work).
Red pencil this, red pencil that.
Sometimes a curl, sometimes a scratch.
And that’s before I’d turn my mind
to sorting out the places where
the sweet subjunctive’s gone astray.
Imperative that someone care.
Copyright 2019 Sandy Solomon