Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Earl Grey--Hot"

When summer sweated and bubbled the blacktop, in true Texan style, I iced the potion and gulped gallons of it. The flavors, like a wildflower bouquet, changed with my mood. Raspberry for lazy afternoons under the tree, and chamomile for restless nights after downing too much hot sauce.  I used sun tea, in honor of Apollo, as an offering. Oolong and Darjeeling, with their heavier tones, stayed up with me through long summer nights.
Then a cold front drove down from the north, a dervish spinning among the tree limbs, bringing steel skies. Autumn’s warmth retreated and retrenched under the assault, weeping as she withdrew. The explosion of energy left a trail of loss and sorrow. Yet, I sat in safety, hands warmed by the cup I embraced. Steam fogged my vision when I raised the golden liquid to sip. My anticipation of its sweetness steeped me in pleasure.
I practiced my ritual, altered by my daily needs. Today, traces of sugar laced through the hinted flavor. Yesterday, dollops of honey hung suspended in the hot tisane. Tomorrow may lead to a deep brew of Earl Grey—hot, and cut with milk and lemon.

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

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