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Cardamom and Earl Grey
An ode to chai


Oshin Khachikian
August 7, 2004


Footsteps I hear upon hard cement steps
And a doorknob turns
Warm smiles and arms ajar welcome
Foreign greetings and that pungent aroma
Familiar smells, evoked feelings of safety, when rush is nonexistent
In the kitchen; grandmother hunched over the stove, kettle in hand, pouring just the right amount of "color" at the bottom

Steaming water bubbles wonderfully into the cup
It marries itself with the tea turning
The elixir diluted, swirls invisibly with the life giving liquid
Leathery black strands sit at the bottom, waiting

Surfaces of tea dance concentrically in their cylindrical homes
Soon they travel downward, soothing those lucky enough to drink
That bitter, inexplicably complex nectar that envelops the senses,
All are invited to enjoy. 

Neatly arranged geometric sugar forms wait impatiently to be used
"PICK ME!, PICK ME!" They throw out temptations to be chosen,
The very top one is taken, held for a second, appreciated almost
Honored to be placed between the teeth,
Slowly, it gives itself with every wash of the hot, comforting tea

Soon back in their dark homes, they are upside down.
Spoons sit below them, waiting patiently
For the next time company comes. 

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Book of the day

Borrowed Ware
Medieval Persian Epigrams
Translated by Dick Davis


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