Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Appeal to the Grammarians

We, the naturally hopeful,
need a simple sign
for the myriad ways we're capsized.
We who love precise language
need a finer way to convey
disappointment and perplexity.
For speechlessness and all its inflections,
for up-ended expectations,
for everytime we're ambushed
by trivial or stupefying irony,
for pure incredulity, we need
the inverted exlamation point.
For the dropped smile, the limp handshake,
for whoever has just unwrapped a dumb gift
or taken the first sip of a flat beer,
or felt love or pond ice
give way underfoot, we desrve it.
We need it for the air pocket, the scratch shot,
the child whose ball doesn't bounce back,
the flat tire at journey's outset,
the odyssey that ends up in Weehawken.
But mainly becuase I need it--here and now
as I sit outside the Cafe' Reggio
staring at my espresso and cannoli
after this middle-aged couple
came strolling by and he suddenly
veered and sneezed all over my table
and she said to him, "See, that's why
I don't like to eat outside."

Garrison Keillor, as passed on to us at Kindermusik today by founder Dan Pratt.


mollie said...

this is too good. yesssss.

Merri said...


Molly McGinn said...

This is my favorite:

or felt love or pond ice
give way underfoot, we desrve it.