new zealand electronic poetry centre

 

Elizabeth Smither


online works
The Oxford comma

A little knot of writers at a 
prize-giving ceremony, standing
uncertainly, looking at the stage

and the side table with scrolls and envelopes
containing magical cheques, we discuss
to show erudition and hide fear

the Oxford comma and the use of it.
'Unnecessary,' someone offers. 'An extra
fence where no animal was escaping.'

'But perhaps a breath,' another suggests.
'A large egalitarian family being given pocket money
or sharing beds, a demarcation with bolsters.'

Victory, loss, effusions, and stoicism
someone thinks but doesn't say
as the crowd files in and takes their seats.

 


Comments
Last updated 11 May 2001