The Communion of Saints – a poem by Anne Higgins

The Communion of Saints

Every Sunday I declare that I believe in it.
Those women torn apart in the Coliseum,
Brigid, whose father was a Druid,
Lioba, almost buried in the same tomb as her cousin Boniface
Therese, the youngest, with her shower of roses.
But also Margaret Slavin Higgins, hugging me in the kitchen,
Fannie Denlinger Kauffman, who died when my mother, her daughter, was seven.

Holy cards don’t do them justice.
On Sundays, I feel their cloudy presence
Which surrounds me like the scent of Spring hyacinths
In the air of the garden,
Thicker, sweeter than incense.


Anne Higgins teaches English at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg Maryland,  USA. She is a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.  She has had about 100 poems published in  a variety of small magazines. Five full-length books and three chapbooks of her poetry have been published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press  2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky,  Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God,  Wipf and Stock 2010,  Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press 2016. Her poems have been featured several times on The Writer’s Almanac.

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