The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Rose Anna Higashi.

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Wisteria leaves lift upward in August’s marigold breeze;
Seeds drift down from the bird feeder
And scatter in the dappled leaf-shadows.
A thrasher, his beak curved to capture
Food from secret crevices,
Hops from the lazy shade
To seize his fortune.

Queen of Heaven, you were locked in shadows,
Trapped in the corridors of dark hearts.
On moonless nights you were a fugitive;
You lived among strangers and napped with cows.
Wounded doves gathered in your skirts,
And the Infant King hid his light in your mantle.

Come forward now like a shy bird;
Spread your wings, blue as the sky’s summer.
Your head is crested now with a jeweled crown,
And friends have gathered,
Stepping out from a million dark trees,
To cast our fate
With your radiant face.

Rose Anna Higashi taught Japanese Literature, English Literature, Poetry and Creative Writing at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, California, for 35 years. Upon retirement, she was drafted by the 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 in rural Hawaii with her husband of fifty-nine years, Wayne Higashi. Rose Anna has been writing all her adult life. Her poetry journal, Blue Wings, was published by Paulist Press, and many of her lyric poems and haiku can be viewed on her website,, which also contains her monthly blog, Tea and Travels. Rose Anna’s poems and essays have also appeared in a variety of other publications, including The Avocet, The California Quarterly, Caesura, Poets Online and the college writing textbooks, Visions Across the Americas and Thresholds.

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