The Shutterfly Edition
He was pulp fiction with expletives & explosions,
she, Harlequin Christian romance
with exaltation & exclamations of everlasting love.
They gave their fans what they wanted,
& though their work only endured
till the next author came around,
they made a good side income
freelancing for the local newspaper—
he, covering the grit & gristle of hard news,
& she, the cream & fluff of soft news.
When Comma sailed on a scholarship to Oxford College—
in nothing but a pinafore & saddle shoes—
having unearthed her earthly purpose at Harvard,
she discovered her divine purpose through her thesis on clarity,
& thus became
the Oxford Comma.
They Couldn’t Take it With Them
When Miss Grammarly & Miss Writerly—
2 spinsters who unraveled yarns
& whose punctuation rained
on a mathematician’s parade
like music notes in a sour serenade—
passed on to that great Writing Lab in the sky,
they found that their favorite mark,
the non-committal Semicolon,
had not made it past the mother-of-pearly gates,
for when S.C. had reached the end
of its life sentence,
it hadn’t known whether to pause
or stop altogether,
& so it chose to continue
to haunt English majors
& thus remain,
of their earthly existence.
She practiced her periods every month,
her commas whenever she needed to take a breath,
& her semicolons during those times
when she felt like a nut
& didn’t feel like a nut
at the same time.
Sometimes she just wanted to say,
or that the use of the words “thing” and “stuff”
& the overuse of “very” and “really”
qualified as “enough was enough.”
She was a 1000-piece puzzle
who lost a piece every time
she read an essay that sought to answer the question,
“Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
So, she learned to start from scratch—
just as she had learned to bake—
for as much as she learned the Why
(even though she already knew the How),
she also learned that patience
was a learned virtue—
& that it was easier to do than teach.
Colon Howell lived in the land of Alfabet City,
where all the punctuation was quite witty,
though he was tired of floating over vowels
because of the nosebleeds that made him dizzy.
A fast-paced city it was,
all the marks running on and on,
While strolling through the park one day,
in the merry month of June,
he was taken by surprise,
by a bunch of loons—
We’s who’d read Ayn Rand and
wanted to become I’s;
they took his blue eye,
but he got away before
they were able to get his brown,
and he was bounced out of town.
When he returned undercover,
dressed as a semicolon,
he leaked his story on YouTube and HuffPost,
with an eyepatch over the part that was swollen,
full of ripostes.
Through his ordeal,
he found a new purpose,
for run-on sentences stopped,
and he was hailed a hero.