Janice Canerdy


Dear Period

I know you’re just a tiny dot,
but in the world of writing, not
a mark more powerful exists.
When thoughts get jammed up, you insist
they separate and free your spot.

When composition chaos reigns,
you enter. Sentences regain
their clarity. There’s none like you.
The comma and conjunction do
their part, but champion you remain.

We both perform our jobs with verve.
I, semicolon, also serve
to punctuate; but I’m not strong
like YOU, my hero. Am I wrong
to want you, Love—to have the nerve

to tell you how I’ve felt for years?
Now, Sweetheart, please allay my fears
and say you love and want me too!
I’ll bid my loneliness adieu.
Our friends, the question marks, will cheer.

Janice Canerdy is a retired high-school English teacher from Potts Camp, Mississippi. She has been writing poetry since early childhood. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Light, The Lyric, Parody, Westward Quarterly, Lighten Up Online, Whispering Angel Books, and Mississippi Poetry Society’s Contest Journal(s). During her long career as a teacher, she really enjoyed writing parodies of the famous poems she taught, renditions she didn’t share with the kids. She recently published the book Expressions of Faith (Christian Faith Publishing). She retired from teaching in 2003 to keep grandchildren.