Poets for Science
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Onions

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ONIONS

 

His peeling and cutting them makes her eyes water,

as much as when she sees the parchment bodies

 

of bluebird chicks stiffened on the back porch,

pushed out of the nest box by a murdering

 

house sparrow. On her plate, she slides aside

the yellow rings. She never eats them, but

 

he always serves them, and, after thirty-one

years of marriage, still asks, 

 

“You’re not going to eat your onions?”

Between bites she ponders what to do

 

about the warring birds. She read in The Times

that rising temperatures have disrupted

 

the mating timelines; the bluebird

has lost its head-start. She could move

 

their box away from the house.

Less lethal than suggestions to trap

 

the sparrows or crush their eggs. She scrapes

her onions onto his plate, gets a hammer 

 

and steps outside to find a peaceful meadow

where the hostile sparrow will not nest.