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Storm Tea

by Alan Harris
Please, come on in.
Those kerosene lamps,
the ones by the windows,
are flickering today.

Listen to November's gale out there
moaning through leafless trees
and twisting off sickly limbs.
The winterbeast clears its throat, eh?

How did you make it
through this windstorm
that rattles my picture frames
against the walls?

And why are you here
when no one else came?
But never mind my questions--
welcome, then, to tea.

Welcome, yes, to tea--
to tea from a pot I forgot I had
in a far corner of the cupboard.
Darjeeling today--I hope it's okay.

How did you find my place--
not to mention why--
or, did what's here
find you?

Now here, have some sips
and stay as long as you can,
for the wind outdoors
is surely fiercer than we.

Beside wavering window lamps
sit you and me and tea.
Given everything,
what else would there be?

From the book Knocking on the Sky (1997-1998)

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