Words and art © Heike Gewi
With four words, one can find at least four interpretations within the poem. That is one of the magical things about poetry: the line acts as a device for delivering additional meaning.
Interpretation 1: The author is missing her children 24/7.
Interpretation 2: The author’s kids have been missing 24/7.
Interpretation 3: 24/7, the kids are missing something.
Interpretation 4: Time (24/7) is absent, and that is juxtaposed with the kids.
Which interpretation should we take? What is the tone of the haiku with so many interpretations? Those are questions that can’t be answered, but shine a light on how haiku operates.
Through simplicity and implication, authors make readers dive into their own imagination to make up a third part out of the two parts of the haiku that juxtapose each other.
The art accompanying the words show the times of the day in two different locations. The emptiness in each section and the somber lines suggest melancholy.
The “i” sound in “missing” and “kids” gives a sharpness to the reading of it, which makes the apparent emergency more alarming.
The last two lines are of equal length and appear to be stacked on top of each other, which gives the impression to the reader that the poem has more fullness to it than stated in terms of length and exudes a sense of power when you see it.
Though there is no season specifically referenced, autumn comes to mind with “missing” and the mood of the art. But haiku do not need to have seasonal references to be haiku. As long as haiku aesthetics are on display, haiku are haiku. This haiku showcases an aesthetic of loneliness, but maybe not the element of sabi, which is a Japanese aesthetic of loneliness that gives solace to a sorrowful life. However, the potency of the inherent aesthetic is felt poignantly, no matter what interpretation you take.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky