Every Sunday, before she prayed,
My mother peeled three Vidalia onions
For dinner, chopping them into pretty
White teeth. I curled beneath her feet
At first, rubbing my small fingers over
Her beige legs, smooth as an onion.
Later, I sat Zen on a plastic chair, bare
Thighs sticky against pink petunias.
Layer by layer, she’d peel
Until the real onion emerged
Like a shiny full moon. June poured
Through gaping windows like God
Paws weaving gold in her hair. There,
Every Sunday we listened to Patsy Cline
Sing ‘Crazy’ from an old stereo. Mother’s
Fingers dancing and mincing in meter
Like a beautiful poem.
Funny how Sunday’s and onions became one,
How an onion made her reveal secrets causing
Her blood-red lips to tip in just the right way
As if offering a kiss. Insidious, the way brown
Eyes can water and laugh at the same time, the
Way an entire universe existed exclusively for
Her and me. The Velocity of moments strung
Together like pearls and prayers and white teeth.
And God streaming through open windows
Like a benediction. Halleluiah. Amen.