Aria: How Beautiful are the Feet

by Anne Babson

“And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
Romans 10:15

How beautiful are the feet
Of the ones who walk far
To bring news to friends,
Especially word of Armistice.
How beautiful the bunions!
                        How beautiful are the knees
                        Of those who crawl through
                        Cobwebs under the old house.
                        To seek the little boy’s Frisbee.
                        How beautiful the scratches!
How beautiful are the abdomens
Of mothers who vomit from the
Queasy months of our coiled-up
Heavy-eating, high-kicking gestation.
How beautiful the stretch marks!
                        How beautiful are the chests
                        Of the rampart-defending armies
                        Who block the bullets aimed
                        At the rest of us behind the fence.
                        How beautiful the exit wounds!
How beautiful are the backs
Of those who scrub the floors
Of the school where the young
People learn to read and add.
How beautiful the slipped discs!
                        How beautiful are the necks
                        Of the women who carry water
                        Jars uphill home to bring drink
                        To those waiting hot and thirsty.
                        How beautiful the cricks!
How beautiful are the arms
Of those reaching for the
Next rung on the long ladder
Of the fire truck to save us.
How beautiful the burns!
                        How beautiful are the hands
                        Of those who lift their fingers
                        To caress the invisible source
                        Of the incomprehensible light.
                        How beautiful the probing stretch!

Anne Babson is the author of four collections of poetry — The White Trash Pantheon, for which she won a prize, Polite Occasions, Messiah, and the forthcoming collection The Bunker Book. Her works has appeared in both secular and faith-focused literary journals on five continents. Her next collection – about the rise of fascism in America and the pandemic, The Bunker Book, will be published by Unsolicited Press this winter.

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