Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 25 Haiku


Kiss his baby cheeks,
get in the car, drive to work -
his tears on my tongue.

The prompt at One Deep Breath this week is "process". The process I use to write haiku starts with searching for a moment in the past day that gives me a strong image. A scent, a touch, a sound or sight; the way light falls or colors shine out. I try to put that one moment in to words, as briefly as possible in a way that will give another person access to my experience. Then I turn it over in my mind, searching for a deeper feeling or a lingering association. I look for a contrast or an insight, searching for the reason that particular moment is held in my attention. I try to think of a photograph I have or could take that fits with the haiku. I move the words around, taking something out or adding a different word, counting the syllables and looking for music. Sometimes it takes all day or longer to get it to fit. With daily practice this process become almost a habit, and I find myself savoring little moments from each day.

The haiku above is significant to me in relation to process because it is about the process of mothering. Yesterday I kissed the baby good-bye at the day care door in the morning. He was crying a little. but then pulled it together and went off to play. When I got in the car I realized I had taken one of his tears on my lips in the kiss, and all during the drive to work I could taste the saltiness it. I was feeling his sadness and anxiety but getting in the car and going to work anyway, because that is my job as his mother. Holding his heart on my tongue in the saltiness of his tears, knowing our bond and hating the separation, but also, driving to work knowing he is in a safe place with people who enjoy him and care for him. The longing to be together and the pull of separation... acknowledging his love and sharing his pain... this is the process of mothering.

9 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks for sharing your haiku writing process!

Paris Parfait said...

Such a sweet poem and a lovely story about your writing process and your adorable baby!

Regina Clare Jane said...

This really was wonderful- we are mothers on many levels...
Your little one is adorable!

Roswila said...

First, what a touching ku and photo. I raised a boy for the first ten years of his life. I recall having that ever so slightly sour smell of milk trail with me to work in the mornings when he was very little, an odd little bit of comfort. :-)

Second, here's my response from my blog to your comment there: "Thanks, cloudscome! Your comment has helped me decide to go back to the original line order (the one you like). :-) I really appreciate your visit and comment."

Erin O' said...

Really beautiful image and imagery.

e

G said...

"his tears on my tongue" -- Yes, I know that taste and feeling, which you captured so well in your poem. Lovely photo, too!

jblack designs said...

Oh my gosh--this is just fabulous. It's so true, and unexpected, and captures that moment of working motherhood so vividly. I also love the image and hearing about your process.

jb

Mom2One said...

That's really beautiful.

Tammy said...

Heartwarming and what a cutie! Thanks for sharing your process.