for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.


the children’s laughter
rise in the air

My sister’s first experiment on making a perfect meringue prompted this haiku.

I never knew she has always loved it until she told me so before Christmas. And what pushed her to study recipes for it is the price of meringue, which apalled her when she learned how little goes into its making. What she had discovered and which apparently makes meringue pricey is the technique in beating the egg whites, the kind of sugar to use and how much, and the size of the oven. I glimpsed her putting in a baking sheet with tiny blobs on them before I turned back to water the fragile rose–the pitimini she insisted on getting last summer about which I expressed loud dire forecasts and which I’m now nurturing because I feel rueful for its pale shoots like the frail babies in pediatric clinics moms hold like wilting leaves.

I can’t recall how long it took when I began to smell a faint vanilla scent that soon overpowered the apartment. Her meringue has started rising like bleached hills–not quite as perfect as the bake shop displays she has coveted. She offered me a bite when they had cooled. I almost demured having almost sworn off sugar from my diet but I gave in.

I felt like a child as the bite melted into nothing but air in my mouth. I had two more. From the courtyard, the handful of children who have since been cooped up in the winter, burst out laughing for the first time. The air laced with vanilla scent rose like meringue–for me, at least and wrote itself into a haiku!


February 5, 2011 - Posted by | haiku, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Enjoyed it!

    Comment by Miriam Sagan | February 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Miriam! Quite a fast and wonderful surprise because I just posted it!

      Thank you so much.

      Comment by alee9 | February 5, 2011 | Reply

  2. I LOVE that haiku, Alegria!

    Comment by Melissa Allen | February 6, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Melissa! So glad you liked it. Would this be a ‘shasei’ as shared by Margaret?

      Comment by alee9 | February 7, 2011 | Reply

      • I am probably the wrong person to ask about shasei, Alegria. The page that Margaret links to in her shasei post is very helpful in explaining the concept, but I think I had previously had a much narrower conception of what shasei were than it appears there, so I won’t pretend to be an expert on the subject. Also, my haiku tend to be a lot less shasei-like than those of a lot of other people, so I probably shouldn’t be giving anyone advice about them. 🙂

        But whatever you call this, I think it is extremely effective — playing on the word “rising” with both the meringue and the laughter, it’s a very light and airy and inspiring haiku. 🙂

        Comment by Melissa Allen | February 7, 2011

      • Thanks again for this thoughtful comment! (I so love those smileys!)

        I better check on the link again. I hope you’re seriously taking time out. Have some meringues!

        Comment by alee9 | February 7, 2011

  3. […] From jornales: meringue— the children’s laughter rise in the […]

    Pingback by Across the Haikuverse, No. 13: Lucky Edition « Red Dragonfly | February 13, 2011 | Reply

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