Garden Party

by Kate Kingston

From a porch overlooking a garden,
a prepositional phrase
flings itself over the balcony landing face-first
in a throng of nouns
all holding active verbs like revolvers
and stringing conjunctions
between them like safety nets.
The most common noun reels its way
through the hollyhocks
looking a little tipsy and put-upon
by all the eager ands
trying to connect everything
from the goldfish pond to the paper
lanterns. Nobody cares
much for the adverbs who hang out
under the porch awning
sipping Cuba libres with island rum,
trying to hit on the adjectives
floating past the picnic tables
with huge trays of steaming pronouns.
Havoc breaks out
when the prepositional phrase
crawls out of the rosebush
completely unharmed, except for a couple
thorn wounds, and streaks
through the garden wearing nothing more
than a dangling modifier.


Kate Kingston has published two books of poetry, History of Grey, a runner-up in the 2013 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award and Shaking the Kaleidoscope, a finalist in the 2011 Idaho Prize for Poetry. Kingston is the recipient of the W.D Snodgrass Award for Poetic Endeavor and Excellence, the Ruth Stone Prize, and the Atlanta Review International Publication Prize. 

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