International Women’s Haiku Festival: Two Haiku by Claire Vogel Camargo

Kin Lane - Cemetery
Photo: Kin Lane/Creative Commons/Flickr

A disenvoiced woman screams on the inside, and a widow explores new-found freedom in two lovely haiku by U.S. poet Claire Vogel Camargo.

the silence
of her acquiescence
a scream

Whatever the subject of the poem is acquiescing to, with whatever wrong or misdeed she is rendered voiceless, a scream resounds inside her. You will likely not hear it – not yet, anyway – but it is there. It is the scream that says this is horribly wrong, you don’t deserve this, no one deserves this, this must stop. “This” could be any number of things – rape, abuse, harassment, discrimination, mansplaining, a good old-fashioned scolding by a male co-worker or spouse. The list goes on. And because personal safety and livelihood may well be at stake, “the silence / of her acquiescence” often goes on, too, despite all the screaming inside.


just widowed
all she accomplishes
without him

It’s not necessarily the case that he was a demanding husband. He might have been wonderful and supportive, as many husbands are. But before his death, she shared her space, her time, her life with him. She made his interests hers. She flexed with his schedule. Like Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, she may have washed his clothes, cooked his meals, cleaned his house. It was her house, too, of course. But still. Now, after his death, she is her own woman and, seemingly, well at ease.

Claire Vogel Camargo, author of IRIS OPENING, an ekphrastic collection, wrote her first haiku in 2010, which won 1st place. Her poems appear in journals and anthologies – including Cattails, Hedgerow, Lifting the Sky: Southwestern Haiku & Haiga, Presence, and World Haiku Review. Her 1st place haiku (My Haiku Pond Academy 2017) was the prompt for Carpe Diem Troiku Kukai “in the herb garden” January 2018. She holds degrees in nursing (BSN, MSN) and belongs to the Austin Poetry Society board, British Haiku Society, and Haiku Society of America. She lives with her husband and Great Dane in Texas.

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