Friday, July 23, 2010

Another time, another place

Would You Care for a Cup of Tea?

Say that I have invited you in
out of the cold-dark night;
once you are settled and out of
your coat I ask,
"Would you care for a cup of tea?"
And you, being cold, having traveled so
far alone say, "Why yes,
that would be lovely,"
and send me on my way.
As I pad in my slippers over Persian carpets
by tapestries hundred of years old
I begin to think about what were, after all,
mere commonplaces and ask,
"How exactly would you care for it?"
Wrap it in a shawl and put it to bed?
Coddle it with cream and sweets?
Let it sit till it cools and pour it
(or have me pour it) down the drain?
How does one care for a cup of tea?
When I take the kettle and pour, a cloud
of steam billows and the teapot fills.
"And how exactly is the prospect of caring
for yet another thing
in any way lovely, or a cause of
delight?" For me, mere drudgery.
But all of these thought pass out of mind
with the clatter of silver and china.
The meal now packed onto the black lacquer
tray, I pad back through
the hall of centuries., to bring these lovely things
to you.


Yes, more or less a joke or a bit of wordplay, but there is a serious thread here I would like to explore.

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