Poetry by Jeff Green


The tea ceremony

by cricketjeff on January 29, 2009.  © Jeff Green, All rights reserved

At ten to eight each morning she is sitting on her own,
Immaculately dressed to meet the day.
Her book is on the table and her face adopts the tone
Of one who knows she’ll always get her way.
Her routine never varies just the titles come and go,
The waiters wait for orders that they must already know.

The pot is hot and close on hand, her china cup prepared,
The milk and sugar where they ought to be.
The pages turn, she’s far away, this pleasure’s never shared;
She does not speak until she’s had her tea.
The chauffeur waits outside the door, he knows she’ll never rush
A chapter of the book must go before he meets the crush.

I must have watched this ritual at least one hundred times,
Each day the scene is played out just the same.
Exactly eight, her second cup to meet the  steady chimes;
The hotel clock is primed to play her game.
I wonder if I’ll ever know just who the lady is,
An actress, or a writer, or a major city whizz.

The book is closed, the cup is drained and finally a smile.
She leaves a tip and strides toward the door.
It’s opened by the Maître de, who bows in formal style
And unconcerned she sails across the floor.
I watch her car, a stately Rolls, receding down the street,
Another morning ceremony is finally complete.