Saturday, October 4, 2014

Poem: The Subjunctive Tense

The Subjunctive Tense

Mary whispers, "I'm glad you still use the subjunctive tense."

If I were tall and slender and upper class,
If I were able to walk miles without getting tired,
If I were able to do somersaults and salsa dance,

If I were able to eat buckets of wings in hot sauce,
If I were able to pour hot red pepper on my spaghetti,

I would be a different person,

but I am short and squat and lower class,
an Italian-American who cannot stomach garlic and peppers,
one who falls sleep after half a glass of wine,
one with a nervous stomach and klutzy feet,
one who could never climb the rope in gym,
one who is afraid of water and heights,
one who prefers her adventures secondhand,
reading books about British detectives,
women who are afraid of nothing,
not even the subjunctive tense.

   Maria Mazziotti Gillan

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