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POEM: Tea Leaves

By Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 Viewpoints

My Grandmother used to sip
tea with a sugar cube lodged
between her front teeth,
Russian style, from a scalding
hot amber glass of black tea.

Maybe this is the elixir
we need now, to put
out the fire of the virus
burning through our lungs,
cutting off our breath.

Outside my apartment
the windows across
are black as tea,
there used to be light,
classes in dance and art,
drama and song,
now dark as death.

Everyone home on a shelf
feeling safe and lonely,
using a light screen
to find connection,
behind a mask
that locks lips
and hide smiles.

Mostly we keep washing
our hands like Lady Macbeth,
keeping our distance,
hoping to return
to the comfort
of another’s arms,
pressing flesh and gripping hands.

The tea is cooling now,
like my grandmother
I drink to feel calm,
the present only a dream.

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