Entry - MAG Poetry Prize 2010

Black Onions

by Nicholas Shurmer

Chopped, peeled and sliced,
scattered in a hot pan the onions,
that were red,
now turning acrid black,
as they continue to cook
She has occupied
my hands and arms
around her,
pulling me close.
I imagine she can’t bear
to see my face, as I wear
my lost and disconsolate eyes.
Peeling herself from me,
she turns without glance to the stove,
and quickly rectifies the situation.
The heat turned down,
the blackest bits removed,
and sugar added to sweeten.
The crumbling blocks
so quickly re-built
by her calming touch.
Those delicate hands return
to clasp my face, hands
I always mock as ice cold,
cooling the fire in my cheeks.
Her slender fingers reach so far
as to block my ears,
and I’m curious why she says
then kisses me so warmly on the lips.
I realise now that my face
had relayed the lie,
when I had protested that
it really was the onions,
that had made me cry.

Added: 02.03.2010

Judges' comments on this poem


wonderful poem clever title - clever use of onions in a poem!