Thanks to Angela Topping
There is comfort in a special way of doing things, even, or perhaps especially, a quotidian task like making tea. Both of these poems are about relationships with female family members and passing things on, whether objects or wisdom or memories.
No silver spoon, Grandma Connelly dispenses
with a practised eye; upends a quarter pound of loose leaf,
stokes the teapot’s fire-cracked belly, silences the kettle,
scalds the dried black heap, then stirs.
Her tincture eddies, adds a further burnt sienna lining
to the elephantine Betty. Left to mash in a hand-knit cosy,
brown spout raised, this worker signs our Sunday afternoon
in paisley swirls of aromatic steam
then genuflects to each in turn as Grandma pours
her benediction on the mismatched china. I serve
the bottled milk and sugar cubes, take up the offertory
in tea cards – my Brooke Bonds.
Super Strength, this stand-your-spoon-up-in-it brew
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