Mariam de Haan
A Cup Of Tea
That fusion of spices
Lemon grass, what I know as mchaichai
Makes me travel,
To a land far away
Across mountains and seas.
To a land
Where the soil is brown,
Like milk chocolate,
And the beaches white.
Where the people smile not frown.
Stretched out savannah
With animals of all colour,
And a mountain that peaks over Africa
Topped with glittering glaciers.
But as those spices
Bubble in my teacup,
I don't see tourist attractions.
Instead I sit
At a crooked wooden table
With my knees to the side,
Glancing at a grassy roundabout
That you made oval,
In a kitchen
With eyes barely open
After being, shocked awake.
And I hear the birds
I hear voices,
As one looks for their schoolbag,
Another runs to brush their teeth,
Papa starts his motorcycle
A woman enters to sell bananas
Mama walks through the garden
As I sit sipping tea
With lemongrass and ginger
Until the tea is gone.
Then it all fades.
The voices and the chaos.
The roundabout which's oval.
The kitchen undone.
I return to my longing
To be back
In a land,
That I call home.
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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
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