Tea Time

My Auntie sent me a book called Ten Poems about Tea. Living in Bath I am spoilt by the choice of teashops and cafes. My dear friends and I went to the recently opened Bertinet Bakery in town for an afternoon of tea and chat. I loved the mismatched china and the vintage teapot. Quoting my Nanna: “Tea tastes so much better in fine china.”

I agree…


This tea, this cup of tea, made of leaves,

made of the leaves of herbs and absolute

almond blossom, this tea, is the interpreter

of almond, liquid touchstone which lets us

scent its true taste at last and with a bump,

in my case, takes me back to the yellow time

of trouble with blood tests, and cellular

madness, and my presence required

on the slab for surgery, and all that mess

I don’t want to comb through here because

it seems, honestly, a trifle now that steam

and scent and strength and steep and infusion

say thank you thank you thank you for the then, and now

Jo Shapcott


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