International Women’s Haiku Festival: Two Haiku by Lee Nash

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Photo: Joe Shlabotnik/Creative Commons/Flickr

A kept woman and a white wedding dress find their way into two insightful haiku by Lee Nash.

sugar daddy
the acrid sting
of his tobacco

The kept woman. Wouldn’t it be nice, the idea goes, if a man could provide a woman everything she needs, or – better yet – could spoil her outright, just like her father did when she was a little girl, only with bigger, blingier, costlier gifts? Of course, whatever sum the sugar daddy spends, the woman’s emotional price – her sense of her own inner strength and resourcefulness, her self-respect – is far costlier. The “acrid sting” lands in her soul, while material stuff builds up around her like prison walls.

***

white wedding dress
the intensity
of a sugar rose

Are many weddings these days, euphemistically speaking, white? Sure, the bride’s dress may gleam like the cliffs of Albion, but does the dress still convey virginity, as it did in past eras? One can still “read” a white wedding dress that way, though I suspect most would also consider doing so to be old-fashioned and, frankly, none of their business. Yet, the white dress persists as a bride’s default wedding attire, maybe because of or despite the symbol it once clearly was, or maybe – dare I say it? – just for show. So now compare, as Nash does in her poem, the white wedding dress with not a real rose, but a sickly sweet one made of sugar. And it’s only fair to ask: Which article of the groom’s attire still, even if only in the margins, satisfies social expectations of his sexual status at the altar?

Lee Nash lives in France and works as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared in print and online journals, including Acorn, Ambit, Angle, Magma, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Heron’s Nest, and The Lake. Her first poetry chapbook, Ash Keys, is available from Flutter Press. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website: leenashpoetry.com.

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