V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics





First, peel the onions, drop the peels, 
if you have time, into the waste basket. 
If you're in a big hurry to get on with it 
(as I often find myself, so much to slice), 
drop them into the left side of the sinkó 
or keep a plastic grocery store vegetable 
bag for the trash.  Pull a cutting board 
from beneath the countertop.  Don't worry 
about scars.  Everything you've heard 
lately is a myth.  Natural enzymes 
protect you from harm.  Cut the onion 
on the vertical axis.  Put the flat weeping 
onion to the wooden board.  Cut in thin 
vertical strips.  You now have diced onion. 
Although there may be tears, nothing 
is as complicated as it first might appear. 
If your eyes burn, wash your hands. 
At this point, you may desire garlic, 
green pepper, or tomato (I lean toward the firm 
tomato, the obscenity of garlic).  Your desires 
may or may not be satisfied.  See what's 
hanging around the place.  Doesn't matter 
much.  From here you can go anywhere, 
but don't forget, if you rushed along, if the dry 
peels are piled up (and isn't this always the way), 
someone, maybe you (anyone else will complain), 
has a mess (one more thing!) to contend with after all.

© by Laura Lee Washburn


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