Onion Sandwich: A Haibun of Imagination

My mother used to say, “It’s hard to improve on an onion sandwich.” She’d peel three small beauties, slice them, and lay the slices between thick slabs of buttered brown bread, sprinkling them with salt and pepper. She chewed slowly and thoughtfully until she had eaten every pungent morsel. Then brushing the crumbs from her lips, she’d reach across the table for her garden catalog, delve into it and dream of planting peas—and more onions—in several parts of her garden.

Winter afternoon—
two jays at the bird feeder
fight over one seed.


Haibun © 2020 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More The Whirligig #252
More Writers’ Pantry #6 at Poets and Storytellers United


Posted on February 9, 2020, in 5-7-5, haibun, haiku, Poets & Storytellers United, The Whirligig and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. A lovely afternoon to pass!

  2. This haibun impresses me like your mother’s sandwich impressed her…Delicious. Thanks, Teach!


    I want to saute them. Love the image of the birds fighting over one seed. I see the blue.

  4. I think raw onions is a bit too pungent for me… (but I do love onions in food)

  5. Two bluejays fighting over one seed – I see a metaphor building here that would fit many situations. I’ve never tried the onion sandwiches but maybe fried onions…. hmm

  6. Intriguing title! I want to believe the story about your mother is true, it’s such a good story and you’ve brought it to life so well. The haiku of the blue jays makes a lovely, subtle juxtaposition.

  7. Beverly Crawford

    Your mother’s sandwich sounds delicious, though I’d add a bit of mayonnaise. Blue jays are so fractious, rabble-rousers at the feeders!

  8. I love the background commentary of the onion sandwich. Almost makes me want to try one and how timely this read for here I am, browsing seed catalogs. And yes, how those jays fight. Enjoyed

  9. There is always something in the past that comes alive again when one writes of childhood and days long gone. It is good to have experienced times when the family was less well off (or even struggling) to put our current lives in some context.

  10. That is a wonderful haibun… it keeps the mood of the winter afternoon perfectly!

  11. Lovely. And I picture your mother, like the jays fighting over the seed, fighting for the last onion in the garden so she can have the sandwich she loves so much!

  12. I am there. This is beautifully penned!

  13. Now that sounds like a cozy way to spend a winter afternoon. Pass me an onion sandwich. They sound good!

  14. My favorite part about this one is the child’s appreciation and perceptiveness. I wonder if she, too, feels like her mother does about onion sandwiches… and gardening, too. Also, now I want some seeds. 😀

  15. MMT. this is a neat haibun. A very trivial matter. A food taste preference into an interesting read. I have stopped eating onion rings a few years ago.and now my onion lover self, I eat raw onion rings sans the batter. Sometimes I salt them as I always did the fried onion rings. I have also not eaten donuts now,
    I’m in my 14rh year of abstinance .

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