My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

Once, my brother ate an onion whole. 

I was six, he seven, and partners in harmless crime. Cowpoke hats and cap gun pops our soundtrack. Dared by neighbor boys, a burly sullen group whom he admired, he chewed and heaved, tears raining, while I stood guard. 

Too late I learned people are onions. Sweet and bitter. Layered. Cores secreted atop their roots. 

Cut that part last, our mama told me once. Her girl. And run the water cold so’s you don’t cry.

Whyn’t she tell him? 

Whyn’t I? 

The gun he used at 35 was real, my grief a torrent. 

*****

RIP, Michael. We love you still.

2 thoughts on “Onions

  1. Your writing is so powerful. This one kicks me in the gut.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you. I’m honored, truly.

      Liked by 1 person

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