by Rose Anna Higashi

The tea master bows his head
As he enters the low door of the tea house.
The bride’s father steps backward
As he hands his daughter to her groom.
An old woman, though her knees are stiff,
Kneels before the Sacrament, deep in prayer.
The athlete takes his seat on the sideline
To let another player salvage the game.
A young man sees the woman he loves
Walk down a path where he can never go.
A dog watches the quail lift their wings in flight.
Our Savior groveled in the garden
Begging to be released
Before He took up His cross.

Rose Anna Higashi taught Japanese Literature, English Literature, Poetry and Creative Writing at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California for thirty-five years. Upon retirement, she was drafted by the Catholic Diocese of San Jose to serve as a Lay Ecclesial Minister. Commissioned by then-Bishop Patrick McGrath, Rose Anna served for nine years as Director of Adult Religious Education at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Los Gatos. She now lives in Kaaawa, Hawaii with her husband of fifty-nine years, Wayne Higashi.

Rose Anna’s poetry journal, Blue Wings, was published by Paulist Press, and many of her lyric poems and haiku can be viewed on her website,, where her monthly blog, “Tea and Travels,” is also published. Her poems and essays have also appeared in a variety of other publications, including The Avocet, The California Quarterly, Caesura, Poets Online, The Catholic Poetry Room, and the College English textbooks, Visions Across the Americas and Thresholds.

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