war in the time of commas

so many of the wars
seemed senseless in retrospect

all of them in fact

but it was the war eliminating commas
that proved to be most ridiculous

all the lives and limbs lost
to settle a matter of mechanics

who manufactured all those land mines
who manufactured this maze of rules

do you recognize me standing here
like an oxford comma hidden in a fist

this one-armed human trying to pause
our never-ending apocalypse of grammar

—P.L. Thomas