tea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote this poem after my Chinese Grandpa's death. He had given me a small container of tea that had engravings of cranes on the side.

Submitted: June 29, 2017

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Submitted: June 29, 2017

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I drink the bitter oolong and notice the tea-tin:
A crane, a fish in its beak, flies towards the green
Metallic sky; on the shiny ground another crane gazes
Upwards at its friend, unable to fly, earthbound.
The tea leaves swirl in my cup, spinning futures:

this was Grandfather's last Christmas present to me.

"Keep busy, eat good food, walk five miles a day,"
he told me like teaching a magic incantation,
at the same time offering a dim sum he'd just conjured up.
A world-class Chinese chef, an athlete, expert fisherman --

That's how we found him, finally, ninety-three years old,
Like a lifeless water-bird on the river bank, a fish thrashing
In a pail nearby. Could we have foretold that in the tea leaves,
That he would have left without the gift of a goodbye?


His farewell was for us to remember him in every action,
His gift: to inspire us to soar when our wings weaken.
Now the tea steam fills my eyes; I hold the pale green urn
Before me, his ashes, as I drink his life into me.


© Copyright 2017 Brion. All rights reserved.

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