My daughter believes she is learning a martial art.
With her incomparable red hair
and freckled, fair face
above her snow=white gi
she’s as oriental as a strawberry sundae
eaten in a Cincinnati park on a sunny, summer Sunday.
Unless, of course, you catch a glimpse of
and allow your mind that stretch.
She is a tender Haiku in Spring,
with all the focus of a student trying to master
the brush-strokes of the tens of thousands of characters
of the Japanese alphabet.
Her cherry=blossom mouth is set with purpose
as she bows to the sensei and begins
the formal, proscribed moves of the kata.
The delicate, balanced maneuvers are a determined acknowledgement
of the ancestors.
She is a flourishing lotus, a blooming chrysanthemum,
a cedar growing from a rock.