by Rose Anna Higashi

There is nothing here, you say—
Nothing to look at,
Just a sort of brown and soggy place
Here by the dunes—
Uneven rocks, hard to climb on,
Bumpy under your soles.
Then this nothing little pool
Stranded by the tide
Stuck in the sand and smelling salty.
Nevertheless, you crouch,
Wobbling a little, and peer in.
You were right—
Except, what is that anyway?
Oh, not that but those—
Are they little fishes?
Lots of them, small brown beings
Darting into dark corners.
And what?
Those feathery things,
Swaying as the tide laps lightly—
Sea urchins? Anemone?
Marine worms?
There are thousands of them on every rock
Waving to one another—
Or is it to you?
You stare amazed, and then you spot him—
The hermit crab, sidling sideways
With someone else’s shell atop him.
He makes his way past coral shrimp
With their striped arms.
How could you have failed to see
Those vibrant red beacons
Flashing in the shadows?
Are you the kind who would ignore the angels
Shouting in the sky?

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, myteaplanner.com, 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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