Linda Hepner

Veteran Poet - 1,186 Points (London)

Allium, Peeling Onions - Poem by Linda Hepner

Peeling onions with my naked nails
Oh how close I come to paring off my parchment skin
And on it I shall write: if all else fails
This you shall send to those I’ve harbored, allies, foe and kin:

Come here and read, my cold and heedless peers,
That I, constrained by expectations, image, hunger, need,
Have found beneath the skin a well of tears
And with serrated slicing into stinging flesh I’ve freed

The piercing fragrance live between each petal,
Layered bodies, one upon the other, sinew, bone,
Bleached by salt and sweat to pearly metal;
The bulby victim yields and each cut screams, no more, atone!

Until upon my maple board I Leah
Slice and chop and say my weeping is the blinding sun
That pierces through the glass like a betrayer
Waiting for my soup and sauces, sweeter once I’ve done.


Comments about Allium, Peeling Onions by Linda Hepner

  • Daniel Brick (9/12/2016 10:39:00 PM)

    This poem has a coiled intensity which you kept tightening rather than releasing. I felt the tension grow in me as I read. Of the many comments that probed the motives and meanings behind the poem I think A. Sears had it right when he said, THERE'S TRUTH IN PAIN. Two things stand out for me: The tears you shed are real tears caused by the cut, not the false tears of slicing onions; you press on despite the pain. The speaker accepts this degree of suffering instead of running away from it. I don't know why, but I know she has that courage of persistence. (Report) Reply

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  • Brian Jani (7/3/2014 7:49:00 AM)

    brilliant and captivating poetry this, i enjoyed the read. (Report) Reply

  • (9/27/2008 11:03:00 AM)

    Met this one about 2 years ago, suddenly remembered it last night, re-visited it just now...and have fallen in love with it all over again. It is mystical, deep, and, above all, beautiful.

    (Report) Reply

  • (4/25/2006 5:30:00 PM)

    Ouch, to cut my finger...
    Pain and blood spills and does longly stay and linger.
    To give my sliced appendaged digit a much needed bath...
    I won't cook for a living, or go to school for typing or even take math.
    Math and onions i do not like...
    I'd rather have a tooth pulled or be super glued to a seatless one peddled
    down hill travelling brakeless bike.
    I'll only eat onions that are totally cooked...I wont go to a restaurant and look on a menue to oder it from the waitress, it will never be booked.
    Good poem and God bless-Mike Gale.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2006 8:26:00 PM)

    There is truth in pain...I've believed that for a long time. Most of the time, it's worth it to get to the good stuff. (By the way...I love onions.)

    (Report) Reply

  • (1/5/2006 4:55:00 PM)

    Wow! This one is quite disturbing, some images that had me wincing. But very well done! - chuck (Report) Reply

  • (7/21/2005 11:23:00 AM)

    I love this. It reminds me of Carl Sandburg's quote 'Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and then you weep.' Thinking of writing on an onion parchment made me smile. Great ending.

    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, July 21, 2005

Poem Edited: Monday, December 28, 2009

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