Tea, No Sympathy

Bigelow brews up basic black;
Lipton warms with its touch

of tart Tuscan lemon. But I see
these aren’t your cups of tea.

With them, you get no yin, no
yang, no sweet and bitter blend

of Golden Flower, no accents
of lanky Jasmine Fairy Maidens

quick to unfold their charms
in the tallest sipping glasses. You

tend to trend to gourmet tastes,
need all the tea in China to brew

old Harney’s Golden Monkey,
uncovering leaves’ clearest notes

of honey to sweeten and loosen
your Rumi’s tongue. “Take tea

with me” comes in a silken sachet
I need not strain to decipher. Oh,

to get tippy in Assam’s best garden,
to unwrap your golden Dikom buds

as I unwind my pearls and purple sari.

—Maureen Doallas, author of Neruda’s Memoirs: Poems

This poem is a reprint from Every Day Poems and was a response to a tea poetry prompt at Tweetspeak Poetry: Tea for Two, Autumn.

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art by Gail Nadeau

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