— Nancy Meyer
Lapsang Souchong in the blue enamelware pot.
A few Lorna Doones or graham crackers—
my grandparents’ afternoon tea,
four o’clock for forty years.
Everyone knows they can drop in.
Farmers, pipe fitters, fellow social activists.
Is the mimeo running? Leaflets to print.
Neighbors, Robert Frost and Robert Francis
vie over their verse.
The cowslips are up on River Road,
Gramma brings them down to earth.
Cousin Andy, border collie at her side,
What do you think of Warhol?
Graduates from their nursery school,
You taught us respect, and how to kill
Me with my new baby. How do I know
if it’s colic?
Even as friends die off,
they keep the ritual:
fragrance of the tea, blue pot,
now and then an Oreo
to break the routine.
Gramma fills the space
reading aloud: Vanity Fair, Chekhov,
Howard Zinn. Baba listens, eyes closed.
Bored? Just shut the book,
no feelings hurt.
They never run out of crackers.