I am sorry about the mud-prints
on the floor. I wanted to harvest the last
of the onions.

Whether onions wait for people
or people wait for onions
is a metaphysical problem.

They weren’t ready to be washed
and cut for broth.
I wasn’t ready to leave

so I left

them in their blanket of dirt.
You will find they fill with flavour
in a palmful of days

when rain is sawing the hard-clay ground
and hummingbirds have devoured
your tossed persimmons.

An heirloom, my devotion for
dirt. I am native to the season
of withering. I scatter

seeds over stone, believe
in the sun’s mercy. May bees
colonize your garden,

mumble a spell
of pollen for the onions.
How gentle in the gory face

of the world—you, labouring
to grow an O that makes
you weep into your knife.



Shannan Mann is an Indian-Canadian writer, mother to a two year old daughter, and a full-time student. She has been awarded the Palette Love and Eros Prize, Foster Poetry Prize, and Peatsmoke Summer Contest. She was a finalist for the Rattle Poetry Prize, Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize and Frontier Award for New Poets. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Rattle, Ocotillo Review, Strange Horizons, Humber Literary Review, Deadlands and elsewhere. You can find her at https://linktr.ee/shannanmania

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