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GIBSON19 MARGARET GIBSON THE ONION Mornings when the sky is white as dried gristle and the air's unhealthy, coast smothered and you gone, I could stay in bed and be the woman who aches for no reason, each day a small death of love, cold rage for dinner coffee and continental indifference at dawn. Or dream lazily a market day, bins of fruit and celery, poultry strung up, loops of garlic and peppers. I'd select one yellow onion, fist-sized, test its sleek hardness, haggle and settle a fair price. Yesterday, a long day measured by shovel and mattox, a wrestle with rootscalm and dizzy when I bent over to loosen my shoes at the finish—I thought, if there were splendors, what few there were, knowledge of them in me like fire in flint, I would have them. . . and now I'd say the onion, I'd have that too. The work it took, the soup it flavors, the griefs innocently it summons. ...


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