My Wife's Colons - Poem by gershon hepner
Writers sometimes may get colon crazy,
but may people quite detest the colon.
I like them, but my views are hazy
since I’m not punctuation Solon.
I leave all punctuation to my wife,
who simply loves to add a lot of commas
after every phrase I write. No strife
is engendered thus, though letter bombers
might not take lying down her rules.
I don’t dispute a single point she makes.
Exclamation marks are just for fools,
she claims, so I avoid them as mistakes,
yet even when my writing is exciting
and calls for them without her inhibitions
she says they’re empty calories inviting
contempt of punctuation dieticians,
and so I follow her command, my voice
directed by a mistress who leaves me
I’ll tell you-it’s no secret—little choice:
my points must all be exclamation free!
Regarding dashes she’s not coy-like Emily
she uses them to cut ker lines like cakes,
then reuniting them so femmily,
you have to love the way she makes the breaks.
Although with question marks I am prolific,
she does accept this without any crit-
icism-they were thought to be terrific
in her minor for her B.A., English lit.,
but as for colons she, quite unlike me,
appears to be ambivalent, somewhat.
Though every one of them seems fine to me,
great numbers in my lady’s mind are not.
I try to compromise with her at times
with semicolons, but this tends to fail,
because they please her even less than rhymes
I’ve written, dogging her. The wagging of the tail
of sentences before they end, to halt
the reader is, she very strongly feels,
though no mistake perhaps, a fault
with which she quite contemptuously deals,
respecting them far less than that great fault
expected before long to shake the State
of California. Islay single malts,
for which I long to drink again, but wait,
don’t change her attitude to all of them,
and since, as I have said, I am no Solon,
why should I argue with her and condemn
the full one, or indeed the semi, colon?
A postscript. Just in case you did not know,
as gastroenterologist I’ve made
some diagnoses on what’s down below,
including colons, and for this been paid.
With this disclaimer I hope to assure
my readers that while I am not as pious
as my wife is in punctuation, lure
of money doesn’t cause my colon bias.
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