Having our Tea

There’s something religious in the way we sit
At the tea table, a tidy family of three.
You, my love, slicing the bread and butter and she,
The red-cheeked tot a smear of blackberry jam, and me.
Apart from the marvelous doting
Of a world’s interchange with each other… there’s tea.
Stupid, they say, to think of the thing as an ordinance.
And yet all the elements are found to change in our hands.
Because we sit and share them with each other
There’s a miracle. There’s a binding of unmerited graces
By the cheese, and through the apples and the milk
A new creation of life is established, a true presence.
And talking to each other, breaking words over food
Is somehow different from customary chatting.
I know perfectly well that the generations must,
Of necessity, have performed this petty action.
And surely their pattern has long since burrowed
As part of our consciousness. The too, back beyond the epochs
Is depending, turning back to the fountainhead,
And listening on the connecting wires to a Voice
That is at the same time food – he expresses
Himself here from the beginning. All would acknowledge
That the food itself is a pleasure:
The spirit grows stronger too in its wake.
Still tea is not worship… But is overcomes
Things so the spirit may happily hop
Into our constitutions, we are a choir, our throats
Blending calories and words together in the presence
Of the unseen Conductor who laid the table.