My grandmother always made tea

served in a pink and white teapot,

with matching cups and saucers,

edged in gold, a small pitcher

of heavy cream, a sugar bowl with

a special silver spoon, scalloped.

This, and fancy napkins, alongside

a glass sectioned plate, holding

delicate cookies, dried apricots,

slices of lemon, almost too yellow

next to sugared almonds,

in pastel, like Easter dresses.

My grandmother would ask me,

the eldest daughter, yet to rebel,

to roll the tea cart from

her tiny Brooklyn kitchen, over

the bump of a doorway, over

the floral carpet, past

the shelf of angels

and the player piano, to

her pale pink dining room.

This was late afternoons, before

the foghorns, before sunset

and by some miracle, I did as asked,

slowly, evenly, without rushing

toward the future.

It took many years for me to see

she was preparing me to live in

the actual moment. Only this

moment is life.

BQ14 157

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