Monday, March 10, 2008


The Rev. Dana Prom Smith S.T.D., Ph.D.

An ode to an onion, I chance to write,

Praising its virtues, for this splendid orb

Of goodness full, of taste a tanged delight,

Is a bulb which gives and doesn’t absorb,

Imparting savory flavors to bland

Cuisines. In climes where the growing time flees

Early and starts late they are set in sand

And soil, cold but thawed, snow patched, in degrees

Cold, four months before the last frost in June.

Savored in springtime as green onions slim,

Then summer’s great globes, next the harvest moon

When they’re stored during winter’s interim

So chefs might pluck this genus allium.

Some disparage these white, purple, and taupe

Spheres of leaves spare a core. With tongues numb

They complain, as would a misanthrope,

The taste is too severe, leaving the breath,

After eating so nourishing a root,

With its fumes and vapors reeking of death.

“Ah!” The pilgrim said, “Never dispute

Another’s breath,” because this ancient corm

So varied in taste from pungent to sweet,

So laden with life, would a meal transform,

Making it fit for a person complete.

Throughout the year depending on one’s food

There’s always an onion to fit one’s mood

If the cook is culinarily shrewd,

Frying rings, souping French, and even stewed.

Copyright © Dana Prom Smith 2008

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