A Cup Of Ceylon Tea
I hold the teakettle high enough
above the burner so its whistle
throbs, hums, and whispers.
I hear again my father warning
"Let the water boil ó pour
straight into the cup."
Somehow boiling water opens
tea leaves to sunlight they recall
shining on a hillside far away.
All day there the wind breathes in
comforting aromas, Camellia sinensis
Warm scents as sweet and virginal
as blossoms of Camellias in corsages
my sisters and I wore for dancing.
Tea raised in rows of green shrubs
narrow bands striping long tropical
slopes where even now someone
picks leaves that will someday
rustle into an infuser, be steeped
as I am in my fatherís counsel
"Let the water boil first."