The Apostrophe and Me

With the bright sun scorching
the afternoon skies at three,
I turned the page to
The Apostrophe.

Little did I know about
Grammar’s sinister plot
for the apostrophe to
get me in a tight spot.

Apparently, the apostrophe
works just like quick concrete
holding words together when
one or more letters are missing.

It appears in can’t and in don’t,
but not in pant and in font.
Wouldn’t, couldn’t and shouldn’t
would all be incorrect without it.

All’s well so far, but it doesn’t end.
For the apostrophe, with a friend – the s
is also used to show possession –
something belonging to someone else.

Here it gets murkier as the s
follows it if the possesor’s singular,
and if it’s a plural that ends in an s,
the apostrophe alone follows that s.

So if Larry had a cat that had a tail,
it’s correct to write Larry’s cat’s tail.
If he had cats, there’d be many tails,
and it’s written as Larry’s cats’ tails.

Give up already? No? there’s more.
What about children, men, women,
mice and geese – no s ends these.
Here both the apostrophe and s come in.

So it’s children’s toys, men’s shoes,
And women’s department all true.
Adding to all that confusion
is that most confounding rule.

Now it’s should be used as “it is”.
And here’s where the catch is –
It’s also used with no apostrophe
As the bird’s in its nest on the tree.

To apostrophe or not to apostrophe
that was the question you see.
Was it Karen’s and Jane’s bikes?
Or Peter and Ron’s fight?

I closed the book with bleary eyes
Not certain if I had got it right
praying to all the powers that be
to help me with the apostrophe…