You stand in the long queue of a sentence,

barely noticed and often mistaken

for something you’re not—

like being possessive

even though you don’t own a thing.

There’s no shame in the title

of smallest verb. It’s just

that you’re never where the action is.

While other verbs sky-dive

or star in their own films,

you are as still as a photograph,

the calm on the surface of a lake.

Some say you are too casual

for formal occasions, yet you

always sneak in, disguised

as a scarf on the neck of pronouns

or smuggled under the wings of adverbs.

You might look like half a word,

a single letter who punctuates

above its weight. But the truth is

you laze around all day

while the full-bodied verbs

carry the burden of meaning.

To sweep the floor or wash dishes

is beneath you. Instead,

you curl up on a couch

looking out the windows

and all you can do is say:

it’s raining …

Well, yes, of course it is.

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