By Margaret Borrelli

my mother was a grammarian
she rested well
knowing that she had bundled up her children
and pushed us out the door
tummies warmed with the ability to craft a grammatically
correct sentence
under her watchful eye I learned
that a sentence can only run on
with no direction
when one doesn’t take the time to breathe
the comma is where one takes a breath
breathe in
for that brief moment in time
one waits
ear pressed against the wall
one listens
string taut between two tin cans
a comma creates a space
so small that it can’t be measured
so large it can contain God
my mother always taught me
not to interrupt when someone else is speaking
I learned not to talk more than my turn
God must never have met my mother
this God who interrupts and never lets me get to the end of my sentence
never an end of story
never a case closed
this God of every superlative
who dares to
speak without punctuation
conjugate our lives
make every noun genitive
who edits my heartbeats
and modifies my every intention
this God of commas
who always speaks
and speaks still
who whispers in my ear

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