My grandmother always made tea
served in a pink and white teapot,
with matching cups and saucers,
edged in gold, a small pitcher
of heavy cream, a sugar bowl with
a special silver spoon, scalloped.
This, and fancy napkins, alongside
a glass sectioned plate, holding
delicate cookies, dried apricots,
slices of lemon, almost too yellow
next to sugared almonds,
in pastel, like Easter dresses.
My grandmother would ask me,
the eldest daughter, yet to rebel,
to roll the tea cart from
her tiny Brooklyn kitchen, over
the bump of a doorway, over
the floral carpet, past
the shelf of angels
and the player piano, to
her pale pink dining room.
This was late afternoons, before
the foghorns, before sunset
and by some miracle, I did as asked,
slowly, evenly, without rushing
toward the future.
It took many years for me to see
she was preparing me to live in
the actual moment. Only this
moment is life.