Photo: Markus Sipske/Creative Commons/Flickr
Christina Sng writes of princesses, pasta machines, and all of our baggage in today’s feature of the International Women’s Haiku Festival.
braiding her hair
like Elsa’s again
For whatever reason, maybe as an expression of a latent desire to be desired, it seems little girls go through a princess phase. When there’s a trusted guide, like a Princess Elsa doll, a girl’s journey into imaginary princesshood can be important child’s play, no doubt best conducted while wearing diaphanous dresses and dime-store tiaras. Sng’s senryu cleverly connects this picture of youthful innocence nourished through play with the kitchen through the parallel imagery of an emerging hair braid and emerging stands of pasta. Even more, the poem transforms an implied mother figure into the handmaid charged with fussing over the princess’s hair, a fascinating role reversal that foreshadows different relational dynamics down the road.
crystal clear lake
no one sees the debris
at the bottom
This poem speaks to the reality that, in this messy life, things are not always as they seem. Experiences accrete onto our souls like barnacles glomming onto ships. Yet we are expected not to reveal any of that baggage to the world. For all our calm comportment, there’s just so much stuff way down deep.
Christina Sng (Singapore) is a poet, writer, and artist. She is the author of two haiku collections, A Constellation of Songs (Origami Poems Project, 2016) and Catku (Allegra Press, 2016). In the moments in between, she finds joy in tending to her herb and bonsai garden. Visit her at christinasng.com.