Tears (on Alzheimer’s disease and onions) written by Diane Byrne



Tears (on Alzheimer’s disease and onions)


We are all onions wee

Lily allium whiteyellowred

sprung from earth

our core spirit uniquely fixed and tightly bound bulb

with iris, coloured and whorls in hair.

Tender, pearled, soft skinned crying and smelling sweet.


We are all onions wee

layer upon layer upon layer

early springtime plant growing

first word step kiss

learning how to play well with others, not to run with scissors


and so seasons cycles turn round and round and round

we go and grow in gardens

of memories abounding, bound in love

our layers succulent with

spouse and song, child and pet, poetry, kindred friends and lovers laughter,

art and home.

the dance of us.

flower, fat juicy, ripe and round

earth pungent.



and then, for some, a blemish, thief named Alzheimer’s tip toe slow slides in quiet

and a layer, sacred, gently slips away






a fleeting forgotten thought.

and then more layers, lost abilities, checkbook unbalancing

and those important nouns, a person, place or thing

and mountaintop majestic memories missing

smaller and smaller and smaller

peeling, the thieving and grieving

makes us cry sad tears weeping

smaller and smaller

until translucent, paper thinned skinned fragile frail exquisite

still whole wide wonderful, a core pearl again returned


We are all onions wee

Diane Byrne

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