I said to the period,
is all of this as final
as it seems?
You are as small as a dying

star, as small as a nail
that has been nailed in
for good. Your eye never
blinks. You stare,

your world view look set.
Tell me if you have made
up your mind and
don’t plan on changing it.

But the period never spoke.
It seemed to be rooted
in the silence where
it had taken seed.

It was the dark moon that
no light in my voice
could ever make shine.
And it preferred what it had

become at the end of
words, where meaning was
told to go back or to
jump off and face certain death.

I knew I was wasting my
breath talking, and that,
from that point on, the period
would never be listening.


Sue Owen
from her book My Doomsday Sampler
LSU Press, 1991

Used with permission of the poet.

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