Incandescence and I am an Onion, 2 poems by Priscilla Melchior

Few will understand.
Light bulbs, for heaven’s sake.
But I was awash the night I found
spares waiting to meet my need
and remembered when need
was swallowed by the dark.
My little stash of lumens
in flimsy boxes leaned
in tilted testament to the day
shadow vanished from my life
and I fairly danced to the lamp
to replace the dead gray globe
and twirl in luminescent grace.
Even now, I rejoice anew
not when a light dims,
but when I reach out knowing
another waits to shine.
Photo of blurred hanging lights
Photo by Louis Tosta on Unsplash
I am an onion
but I’m the one who cries when cut,
when layer after layer is exposed
airing tender skin below. I am an onion,
but the sting from my broken flesh
is weak defense for your attack,
relentless when — especially when
you unearth my fragile core. Tell me.
Does the pleasure of my glistening
give you the courage to keep on? Or
are the burning tears in your eyes

small sacrifice for mine?

Priscilla Melchior
Priscilla Melchior was a community newspaper journalist for more than twenty-five years before retiring to the mountains of Virginia.

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