Apostrophe to the Apostrophe

By Eric Nelson Eric Nelson
Small floater, you stay above the fray,
a wink at nothing's nod, a raised brow
watching p's and q's, a selfless mote
between I and m, a little horn of plenty
spilling plurals, disdaining the bottom line.

Unlike your twin relatives—groupies of wit
and wisdom, hangers on in the smallest talk—
you work alone, dark of a crescent moon.
Laboring in obscurity, you never ask why,
never exclaim, never tell anyone where to go.

Caught up between extremes, you are both
a turning away and a stepping forth,
a loss and an addition. You are the urge
to possess everything, and the sure sign
that something is missing.

Source: Poetry (June 2001).


This poem originally appeared in the June 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

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June 2001
 Eric  Nelson


Eric Nelson's recent credits include Yankee, Arts & Letters, and The Christian Science Monitor, among other publications. He is on sabbatical for Georgia Southern University, working on new poems and revising a manuscript tentatively titled The Black House.

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Reading & Books

Poetic Terms Ode

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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