this tea has taken generations to make.
so much pressure on one small girl.

my world used to be smaller.
the furthest i knew was the sea.
wind on the north coast is strong
and cold.
it was always teatime.
tea cosie on, a few teaspoons,
take the milk jug out the fridge.
careful not to spill on the orangish pine kitchen table.
the liquid i was given was pale and lukewarm for my childish tastebuds
though it did not feel like that to me.
i finally felt like the grown up i longed to be
at age 7.

this tea has taken generations to make.
so much pressure on one small girl.

it’s funny when you grow up.
i still feel small although i have gotten taller
the world became so much bigger,
disproportionate to my immense tininess.

when the art gallery was refurbished and reopened
i visited often.
i sat in front of a coastal painting,
i can’t remember the artist’s name,
but tears rushed from my eyes as if reflecting the rough sea in the frame.

it was then when grief made an unexpected appearance.
it presented itself not as a
longing for what had been
but a
yearning for what cannot come.

the sea is angry
and i am angry,
that i cannot stand at it with you again.

but i am perhaps more angry
that we will never have another teatime.

my soul cries out
but in hushed tones,
as if i am afraid to scream
even to myself.

a sea of voices all filling a room with no windows and no doors
a blizzard from wall to wall
yet i am more alone than ever

and so,

i boil the kettle.
fish out a teabag from the cupboard as the jar is empty again,
and let the water in my cup darken.

warm in my cold hands.
hot bliss through my organs.

content in the fact that my day cannot get better,
but cannot get worse
by 8pm.

there’s an amber glow in each corner of my room.
as close to silence as silence can get,
drip dropping of the tap,
the walls gently creaking.

teatime is upon me again,
though not the same as it once was.
each time i let the hot liquid touch my lips
its like my senses are in harmony
and there is nothing but a soft hum in my body.

this tea has taken generations to make
and i am still that small girl

when the steam dissipates, and my glasses are no longer filmed with fog,
i am left with a cold cup
and the dregs are shaped like you.