My poem “Woo and Onion” followed by a reflection

Wooo and Onion

Wooo wanted to get married.
But onion said it was a bad idea.
They would never agree on anything.

You want to live in a hollow tree
in New Zealand, said Onion,
and I want to live in a hollow tree in Central Park.

Wooo was unconvinced.
Let’s sleep on it.
Maybe we will find our answer in a dream

That night they both had a dream.
Onion dreamed she was living in New Zealand.
The Maoris were serving breakfast.

Wooo dreamed of waking in his hollow tree
in Central Park. He was very happy
but Onion was nowhere around.

I guess you are right, said Wooo.
We are doing fine living in these poems.
Let’s leave well enough alone.


There it is, in the last stanza, the truth is out: Woo and Onion live only in my mind. But they are happy there, at least Wooo has learned that he doesn’t want to live in a hollow tree in Central Park if it means that he will be separated from Onion by a planet. These two need each other. And I need their innocence and spontaneity and their ingenuous silliness. I guess I haven’t figured out how to lighten up in my own life or they wouldn’t have appeared in this series of poems to call me out. Sure, the environment is going to hell and politicians are sorting us into baskets. (What’s your basket?) But Onion and Wooo are slippery. They are cartoon-like in that they can pass through things, they can say things that are accidentally true and rail about things that aren’t even real problems. The world is their oyster. What world is that? The world of unfettered imagination. Or at least I hope that is their world. The less fettered our imaginations these days the better, until we figure out how to be more like Wooo and Onion in our down time. Not to belabor a point but what is the use of an imagination if it isn’t free?


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