She could put sentences into diagrams
but not diagram sentences.
She could put commas in their place,
telling them “because I said so,”
for trying to explain was a source of textual frustration.
She knew the difference between a tautogram & a tautology,
but not a dangling or a squinting modifier,
which she often misplaced,
yet she could still write,
which was why she was a writer,
not an English teacher.
When Paige Turner met Miriam Webster,
each suffered from a superiority complex,
for Miriam believed it was the words themselves
that got people to read,
even as Paige believed it was how the words were arranged
that kept readers reading.
He wrote historical fiction
& what could’ve been;
she wrote science fiction
& what could still be.
When they met their mutual friend
who wrote current nonfiction
in the literary present,
they saw how facts
& the way they were presented
marked the generations of their time,
as they justly deserved,
but through the lens of history,
would mark the generations after their time.