lemon ginger tea in the afternoon

I’m celebrating National Poetry Month by writing and reading poetry, every day. My poetry project this month is rooted in a list of things that make me happy. I made this list last month during the Slicing Challenge on the 30th of March.

For today’s poem, I found inspiration from Penny Kittle’s post on Ethical ELA‘s verse share. She wrote a mirror poem inspired by G. Yamazama’s Elementary. I lifted the line “I was so I young I don’t even remember” from Yamazama’s poem.

Today, day twelve is lemon ginger tea in the afternoon.

I was so young I don’t even remember when I had my first sip of tea
black and sweet
served in a bone china cup
brought me into this world

an honor
my mother bestowed
the magic of hot water whistling
in the kettle
the ball of leaves

my mother held the lid with two fingers
as her other hand gripped the handle
and poured
one cup for me
one cup for her
blow, sip
afternoon tea

the teapot sits high
tucked away
out of reach
while the plug-in pot steams
I grip the handle
and pour water steaming
over the single tea bag
marked lemon ginger

one cup for me


day 12, national poetry month, 2021

slice of life at Two Writing Teachers
read more slices here.

14 thoughts on “lemon ginger tea in the afternoon

  1. I love how you wrote “grip the handle and pour” to show what remains constant, while the ball of leaves from your childhood has now become a lemon ginger tea bag, the two cups becoming a single cup.

  2. Lovely poem!! I so enjoyed learning your process of a line lifted and then your words seemed to flow. I liked how you described your mother’s fingers. A favorite part is: blow, sip/ afternoon tea
    So much in those 4 simple words. I’ve never taken on a poetry challenge. You’re inspiring me to give it a try sometime! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oops – hit enter too soon.
    I love the vision of the teapot sitting high tucked away – makes me wonder if there will ever be a time when it gets used again? Or will it remain a teapot to marvel at?
    Love this and I too love my lemon ginger tea!

  4. This is beautiful. The words roll as gently as tea pours. I feel like I am right in the kitchen as your mom pours a cup of tea. The first stanza really pulled me into your poem. As I reflect, I am struck by the story that is told here. These lines together:

    I was so young I don’t even remember when I had my first sip of tea
    an honor
    my mother bestowed
    my mother held the lid with two fingers
    my mother held the lid with two fingers

    the teapot sits high
    tucked away
    one cup for me

  5. Memories are held in so many things in our houses. It’s wonderful that you wrote about your mother and the feeling of honor as you had your first cup of tea “together”, now keeping the teapot close, to remember. I feel that love for your mother throughout the poem.

  6. Such a lovely descriptive poem, you can just smell the tea both then and now and see the steam rising from the teapot and the kettle. Beautiful contrasts and how treasured memories are!

  7. Tea always reminds me of my mom, too. She drank “Constant Comment” black tea like it was water and left the used tea bags on the kitchen counter. Funny how a tea bag sparked my memory. Thanks for sharing your poem 🙂

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