In the teacup, only a teaspoon
of liquid remains, almost room
temperature now. My left hand
lifts the cup, my eyelids drop
for a moment. I sense but cannot
see the tea as I swirl it once,
twice, a third-time counter
to the face of a clock. Eyes open.
The saucer collects what’s left
as I invert its cup. A magpie outside
my kitchen window pries at my private
moment, then shakes its wings
toward the bright sky. The tea drains.
I wish for a basket of flowers. And it drains,
perhaps a second bird in an open cage, or
the magnolia, yes, I wish the magnolia
as it drains and it drains. It drains
and the leaves that remain
shape themselves into a harp.
Ruth Towne is a gradute of the Stonecoast MFA program. Her work has been featured in WOMEN. LIFE., a special issue of Beyond Words Literary Magazine; Foliate Oak Literary Magazine; Referential Magazine; and Maine's Best Emerging Poets 2019. She also has forthcoming publications with Drunk Monkeys, and Poet's Choice. Ruth is resident of Southern Maine and hopes someday to become a respected gardener.