Friday Poem

O, Scallion!

The first time I cut into a scallion,
I leapt back, watching it splinter
into a thousand translucent Os
that skipped across the counter
like flecks of young jade.
I was enamored by its crinkle,
its staticky scrunch. How it
doubled over, limp,
in a melodramatic act of being
O so done with this world. Its
rubbery stems, capped in mottled
whiskery faces, like a deep-sea
bottom feeder, gasping as soon as
pulled from dark moist. I marveled:
O, tenacious green, teenage
zest. Skins that smear
in protest against board
when knife is too dull.
O, child of spring, ripped from home
far too soon, dug up for babyish
bulbs, your final form forgotten.
I confess, I sometimes falter when
you’re tucked between cousins
in camouflage of leek, shallot, chive—
and then I swore
to one day snip
a fistful of scallions
right at the end
of their hollowness,
stand them
in shallow water
and witness how,
when allowed to,
unfettered and alone,
they bloom.

by Sofia Koyama
Brooklyn Poets