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Jeanne Murray Walker

Praise Prepositions

After against among, around. How I admire
prepositions, small as they are,
like safety pins, their lives given to
connecting. They are the paid help,
maids in black uniforms who pass
hors d'oeuvres, and they're
the forbidden joy that leaps between us
when we get to know them. Without
connection what can survive? Because
the lawn waits for sun to wake it from
its winter nap, we say sunlight
lies on the grass. Even the simplest jar
connects—jar under moonlight, on
counter, jar in water. It was prepositions
in the Valley of Dry Bones that stitched
the femur to the heel, heel to the foot bone.
And afterwards, they got up to dance.
Between, beside, within may yet keep
the precarious chins and breasts
from tumbling off Picasso's women.
I would make prepositions the stars of grammar
like the star that traveled the navy sky
the night sweet Jesus lay in his cradle,
pulling those kings toward Bethlehem,
and us behind them, trekking
from the rim of history toward Him.

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