English poetry

Poems in English

The perfect cup

The perfect cup

We were born of tea, our mum could drink fourteen
Cups a day, an awesome feat to try to rationalise,
Beyond belief unless you knew where we had one
She would have two. The perfect cup, she said,
Was never one; I understood in sum that meant
A pot of tea for two, a cuppa shared with time to talk,
Perhaps a scone with cream and jam. It seemed
The nicest way to greet a friend of old, a friend to be,
A greeting with a pot of tea. We learned to make the
Perfect cup when we earned our mother’s trust,
Could bank the stove, raise the heat ’til kettle boiled,
Warm the teapot, measure tea (with extra for the Queen
Or pot – it mattered not), fill the pot with ease
And free of incident or scald, dress it in a stained
And holey, tattered old bequeathed tea cosy, wait
For it to draw, cups and saucers placed with tiny,
Anxious hands afraid to break a member of the
Set, milked and sugared ready for the pour.
If there was more to life than this we had to meet
It yet. And Mother in her driven quest, when all
Had sipped would ask for more – even in a land of
Plenty, ensuring the blessed pot was empty.



Poem The perfect cup - Ivan Donn Carswell
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