You can get through your whole life
without one, I tell my students.
Really. You can. Periods and commas
will do you fine, if you use them
correctly, if you resist the urge
to polka dot a page or sprinkle
them through a field of letters
like so many chocolate chips.
If a period puts a button
on the end of a sentence,
halts a declaration, and
a comma serves as a mere pause,
when you combine them—
that simple dot over a curvy
wink—you arrive at the spot
dividing two complete thoughts.
It creates parallels;
it speaks of relationship—
your road running next to mine,
each of us equals,
holding our own weight
in this lovely dance
of a sentence together.