One Poem by Rennie Halstead

Written in response to this month’s Special Challenge.

At the Fushimi Inari Shrine

I pass the foxes standing guard,
the stone path winds
through the Torii gates,
a vermilion forest,
draws me up the hill.
There at Inari’s shrine,
promising plenty,
you stand, pure white kimono
as if you had stepped out of Edo,
out of Japan’s long, long past.

Your groom, handsome, young,
in his black hakama,
serious, happy,
awaits the priest and the ceremony,
your families so formally dressed.

And I, a paper samurai
so casual in jeans,
unfitted for such a bride,
intruding on the moment
long to be included,
forever now a tourist,
lost, cut off, outside.


Rennie has been writing poetry for years, but usually publishes work on his blog at

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