The Difference Between Lie and Lay
by Ronald Wallace

In truth, my students don't know it, although
the consistency with which
they all get it wrong
might argue the obligatory lie.
For all my rants of transitive/intransitive,
it just never seems to stick: I can lie
and recline till I'm blue in the face, say lay
makes lover turn object, my
off-color joke lying
flat on the desk between us, laid
bare there in what might be a lie.
So much past and past perfect have laid
lain to rest, that - no lie! -
I might as well be just a lay
person lost in my own grasp
of correctness. Hell, even our
President, whenever he goes "nuculer,"
can't keep his grammar straight,
as he and his acolytes - no students
of truth - lay on us lie after lie.

Copyright © 2008 - Ronald Wallace
Published: 6/19/08   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem