Saturday, April 23, 2011

sagely

This poem is so lovely. Lovely lovely lovely. *Sigh of contentment*

"The Tea and Sage Poem"

At a desk made of glass,
In a glass walled-room
With red airport carpet,

An officer asked

My father for fingerprints,
And my father refused,

So another offered him tea

And he sipped it. The teacup
Template for fingerprints.

My father says, it was just

Hot water with a bag.
My father says, in his country,

Because the earth knows

The scent of history,
It gave the people sage.

I like my tea with sage

From my mother’s garden,
Next to the snapdragons

She calls fishmouths

Coming out for air. A remedy
For stomach pains she keeps

In the kitchen where

She always sings.
First, she is Hagar

Boiling water

Where tea is loosened.
Then she drops

In it a pinch of sage

And lets it sit a while.
She tells a story:

The groom arrives late

To his wedding
Wearing only one shoe.

The bride asks him

About the shoe. He tells her
He lost it while jumping

Over a house-wall.

Breaking away from soldiers.
She asks:

Tea with sage

Or tea with mint?

With sage, he says,

Sweet scent, bitter tongue.
She makes it, he drinks.


-- Fady Joudah  

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