In a Cup of Tea

If it’s true

That my cup is filled with not just water

That there are crushed tea leaves stirring

inside a bag once stapled at a factory

by a woman in a green shirt

Keeping a hand on the machine

and a hand on her hip for balance

Then it also rings true

that there must be more

in the space between

hiding in my cup

and calling out to be found

A farmer rising at dawn 

in blue jeans and a hat for the sun

is here in this cup,

Stirring his own tea,

Setting out for the fields,

Then carrying an armful of leaves just cut,

Then loading them on a truck

Again and again.

If this is true,

Then the mother of the factory worker

is also here in this cup,

laying down at night full of hope

for her her daughter

to be strong enough for hard work

and brave enough to see beyond it

Knowing that trading ambition and survival is a skill.

If I go further again

with my my tea at hand

and my feet on the earth 

I think it’s still true to say 

This tea isn’t just a ticking timer

as it warms enough to become itself

and then cools enough to drink

It’s also a snow globe 

A telescope pointed into the past

A party of familiar strangers

The brightness of the farm

The progress of the city

It’s a garden I can walk through

Stepping wisely the more I go

Looking carefully the more I find

If seeing this for myself makes it true,

and if I get comfort and peace from truth, 

then I know how to drink my tea

I hold the cup,

The fields,

The city,

And the people around me

With a lighter touch 

and a stronger hand

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