Onions

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Onions

My knife never sings but hums instead when withdrawn from its block, a metallic whisper so modest only the wielder may hear it. Or perhaps the dog, who seems to enjoy the kitchen nearly as much as I. A Japanese blade, it’s a joy to hold, perfectly balanced, stainless steel-molybdenum alloy, blade and handle of one piece, bright, untarnished, and so sharp as to slide through, rather than awkwardly rupture and divide, its next task on the board.

We’ve never counted the chopped and rendered onions, the fine dice, slender rings and discarded skins, but if we could gather all the corpses we’ve produced together over the years, we’d form a monument to our work, cooperation of metal and man, a Waterloo mound in memory of the bulbs laid there, the planning involved, the missteps and serendipity, and the tears shed along the way.

The blade doesn’t care. It is. It works. It moves things, it lifts, it parts them, and in return is cleansed, and later, in the quiet room, maintains its edge with a silvery rasp, angled steel on steel in a circular motion, over and over, until finally it hums its way back into the block. But it never sings.

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“Onions” last appeared here in September 2016. Hmm. This reminds me that I need to sharpen knives…

44 thoughts on “Onions

  1. Now I want an onion sandwich: a thick slice of yellow onion on bead with mayonnaise and mustard. Onions are great. Shredded green onions on top of fried, caramelized white onions on fried mushrooms all piled on top of garlic shrimp on toast. Not what you wanna eat before kissing anyone… but great for any other occasion!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your eye for detail, and your means of poetic translation and elevation of the humble, is such an inspiration. And rarely do you offer up a poem that does not trigger memory or connection of my own…like this one, and the humble steel kitchen knife, in its sheath fashioned of newspaper, that resides in the drawer by our stove. My father gave it to me, and he had found it in the brand new, fieldstone Cape Cod house he bought when he first got married to my mother in 1961. The blade is marked “Damascus xXx”, and is, I’m sure, much reduced from its original length, over years of sharpening. *sigh* (You don’t have to read my ramblings! But there are times I am compelled to share, and for those moments, thank you! 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So is o at the edge for onions? Kidding
    And as I read the first paragraph I was like “who is this awesome writer” because I am scrolling the reader and sometimes posts just come and I skim – than I saw the blog and was like. “Of course.”
    And all that to say I enjoyed every word – the glide – the function – the Waterloo analogy etc

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi. The knives remind me of daggers found in King Tut’s tomb. They couldn’t figure out how daggers made of iron could fit in the king’s time frame. That’s only because they think they’re so right when they’re wrong about many things. Anyhow, your poem was published? Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve just sharpening my onion chopping Wiltshire knife, preparing my onions for the sauce over delicious slow cooked lamb shanks. Loved your tasty poem, and your line “A Waterloo mound in memory of the bulbs laid there” had me cooking in tears…..

    Liked by 2 people

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