I would never scold the onion for causing tears

“It is believed that the onion originally came from India. In Egypt it was an
object of worship —why I haven’t been able to find out. From Egypt the onion
entered Greece and on to Italy, thence into all of Europe.” — Better Living Cookbook

When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way the knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.
And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,

~ Naomi Shihab Nye, “The Traveling Onion” from Words Under the Words: Selected Poems.

Notes: Poem – Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels.  Photo: YMarchese with Bermuda Onion


  1. Considering the sacrifice onions make to enhance our meals, perhaps crying for them is the natural thing to do.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to eat onions like apples David. My little friends thought I was nuts! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think that if you plug your nose (and close your crying eyes) you could eat an onion and not be able to tell the difference between an apple and an onion. Everyone around you would know you ate an onion though. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chuckle, chuckle…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bermuda onion sandwiches… a typical night time snack in my home growing up. With mayo, salt and pepper. Some families had ice cream.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Many loved ones in our life are just like that translucent onion, who for the sake of others, disappear!

    I have not seen this one before.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i can’t do raw onions at all, but love them cooked in things. how quiet and sad the beautiful little onion is )

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Treasure the small things in life!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When we went to a farm on Sunday to buy some peaches we also bought two giant onions (2lb +) for our daughter, as she loves onions and looks forward to receiving her giant onions of August. We never seem to grow enough onions to suit her 🙂 I figure she must have a need for sulfur, since she eats onions, daily; along with the hot chili Sriracha sauce (I don’t like that sauce!!/// btw, the peach amaretto jam turned out well, and he will make a gluten free peach pie, tonight! I will pick up a pint of vanilla bean ice cream to top of the pie slices. Nothing like warm Peach Pie…but then again I say the same thing about warm Sour Cream Cherry Pie and Marion-berry cobbler << oh, the rich, deliciousness of Marion-berries! /// I've come across onions growing, in the wild…I think the layers of an onion building on it's foundation…similar to us building on our foundation…purple onions are so pretty to look at and to eat, each cell oozing with a nice pungent liquid with a biting taste ..

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anonymous says:

    I will never look at an onion the same again. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The Egyptians worshiped onions because they represented eternity. Never ending circles, no core and all.
    Was it Peer Gynt that peeled an onion? Maybe thats where I got the “eat an onion like an apple line”.
    I love that line in the poem “for the sake of others disappear”, but thats only if you cook them, right?
    Hey David!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Candess Kostopoulos says:

    This is lovely. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This made me think of a saying my daughter says: “Sometimes I cry when chopping carrots so the onions don’t think they are ugly or something”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. They have been chopping onions, herbs and tomatoes…the house smells good…they are making tomato sauce for the freezer! While picking the tomatoes, this mid afternoon they saw the elusive.mole…our daughter was able to touch it as it emerged./// The neighbors little dog has been digging under the fence and was wandering through the garden today…she nipped one of the cats and set our boy off into a barking frenzy. I opened the door and off he went, he stopped in his tracks and he and the little dog were mesmerized with each other…perhaps her name being Lena (after Lena Horn) had something to do with it…boy dog meets sweet, pretty, chocolate colored, short hair girl dog…our daughter said, I wonder if their dog is neutered?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dave, this has nothing to do with onions…it was one of those days, “a lot going on”…I saw two sibling kittens today, frolicking in the sun, across the road…they must have been born in June, so darling…my greatest Joy so far today was driving home from the grocery store glancing down a street I know well, I noticed, two darling little tow headed boys, playing with Dad and Grandpa..I turned the car around parked, got out and was greeted with a hello…David was visiting his folks and he now has two adorable twin boys, who are almost 2 and 1/2 years old, they look just like their Dad…my heart was so warmed…seeing them chasing a football…the grandparent’s dog joined in the fun, a sweet golden, a rescue…I think this is golden number four…life is full of Joy if we just stop long enough to look…must try and breath it all in!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope it is apparent that I know the family, well? Though we haven’t touched base for about a year, the last time in the grocery store…I wouldn’t want others to assume that I was creepy, which I am not!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: