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Ode to Em
Sandra Ridpath


As you dash about, I admire how
Straight, crisp and lean you look;
And whether before, after, or between
Your words, phrases, and clauses—
You create bold—almost brash—pauses.
Your sharp, double-sided sword either
Interrupts, explains, or provides a crisp refrain—

Your more subdued and delicate cousin Comma,
More delicately shapes her conversational stance.
With a classic hook, an almost unstated elegance,
She crooks her tiny tea cup drinking finger and smiles,
While you slash and grin like a pirate defending his men.
On all matters of meaning, movement, and patterns.




© by Sandra Ridpath
Used with the author’s permission.

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Sandra Ridpath is a former corporate buyer and English teacher.  She edits electronic documents from her home office, loves to learn new cooking and home decorating techniques, reads, writes, and listens to political talk shows. Sandra lives in Pennsylvania with her husband Frank and dog Bear; learn more about her at

Post New Comment:
I really enjoyed your poem. Dashes are a favorite of mine.
Posted 09/24/2010 07:56 PM
Delightful in content and form. Thank you, Sandra, for the homage to my favorite form of punctuation.
Posted 09/24/2010 06:03 AM

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