Wild Onions [poem] by Lauren Scharhag

for S.L.

Advent of indolence and humidity,
Time to let the grass grow under our feet

Long daylight,
lull us beneath a sky that is bowl-shaped.
Not a lid, but something to be filled
What can we pour inside of it?

Part the bright fabric of sunsets
to nights that aren’t truly nights.
They flicker like a breath
or a suggestion, dusky and low

I let the garden go to riot
Unable to bring myself to behead dandelions
or the tiny violets that grow in clumps
in the shade along the back fence.

The world extends its cupped hand
to catch the outpourings of memory we gather together
in bird baths and old wheel barrows,

And when the fields are tall enough to lie down in,
the earth a warm beast against my back,
I will stroke its green-pelted flank while the wind
ripples stalks of bluestem across my face

I’ll crunch wild onions for their sharp flavor
and stargaze in the season of promise:
Triangular constellations,
nipples, navel, mound

both the wish
and the wished upon.


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

Image by Visit Grand Island

Lauren Scharhag is a writer of fiction and poetry. She is the author of Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince and West Side Girl & Other Poems, and the co-author of The Order of the Four Sons series. Her work has appeared most recently in A World of Terror anthology, The SNReview, The Rockhurst Review, Infectus, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. She is the recipient of the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for poetry and a fellowship from Rockhurst University for fiction. Currently, she lives in Kansas City with her husband and three cats.