Ode to an Onion

A friend brought me the most beautiful onions I’ve ever seen with papery cream outer layers and firm juicy insides. They chopped up beautifully, adding the perfect zing to tuna fish, soup, and our favorite marinara sauce. They also reminded me of my youth. My artist mother often got so engrossed in her painting that she forgot dinnertime was approaching.  So, to give her a few extra minutes to extricate herself from her project, she’d chop up an onion and let it gently sauté.  This way my sister and I would think dinner was on the way, even if it wasn’t quite yet. It worked like a charm every time.

Recently, like my mother, I put some onions on to sauté. But, instead of giving me those few extra minutes to wrap up my writing project, those onions inspired a poem. To use my teapot analogy, I wrote the following little poem in a frenzy of paper scraps at the kitchen counter, while simultaneously chopping and sautéing onions for dinner.

Bon Appetit!



Laura Sassi

“Oh, pungent, pungent onion,”

Cook slices, dices, sighs.

“Why is it that your skin is thin,

Yet I’m the one who cries?”


18 thoughts on “Ode to an Onion

  1. Hmm…I’m guilty of popping some bread in the toaster to toss onto the plates of those too hungry to wait a little longer for dinner. If only my ancient toaster wouldn’t burn so quickly without vigilant tending. Love the onion poem!

  2. Thanks, everyone. And just so you know, my mother painted in the kitchen, near the sink, where the lighting was good so she was never very far away from those onions. In honor of her and the onion, I’m putting my first soup of the fall on to simmer today.

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