“I wrote a poem about you today,” I said. “Well, just a haiku. But actually, I wrote two.”
This caught my 8 year-old daughter’s attention. She put down her Monster High doll, the one she just bought with money hard-earned from chores like scooping the cat’s litterbox.
“What’s a haiku?” she asked. Apparently, they hadn’t yet covered this in her third grade class.
“It’s a kind of short Japanese poem. It has three lines, with a total of only seventeen syllables. The first line is five syllables, the second is seven and the third is five.”
As she read my haikus, I said, “I wrote about you, but usually haikus are about nature.”
“Like about animals?”
“Sure. ‘Animals’ is three syllables, so you need two more for the first line. Then seven, then five.”
“Syllables, like beats in music?”
She didn’t even pause to think. She launched right in.
“Animals live in …”
“You’re doing it! You’re writing your very own haiku! Now seven syllables. Where do animals live?”
“Jungle, forest and…” She counted out the syllables on the five fingers of her right hand. Then two more on the fingers of her left hand. She had painted her fingernails in an alternating pattern with red and blue nail polish. Red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, red, blue, red blue.
“That’s great! Which one? Ocean or city?”
“You did it! You wrote your own haiku!”
She smiled – a small, proud smile – and then she picked up her doll again.
“That was really good. Let me write it down. Can you say it again?”
She shrugged, engrossed in brushing the doll’s hair.
“I forgot it already,” she said.
“But I’m your mom and I will always remember,” I thought.
Haiku by Eliza
Animals live in
Jungle, forest and city. (or ocean)
Nature around us!