By Christopher Clauss
In New England they would have me do this the other way around:
ice first, then tea, then honey.
The physics of solubility are not lost on the people of the northeast.
They revel in challenge, pride themselves on work clearly unfinished.
It is evidence that they are “working on it,”
the promise of having something always on the agenda.
The problem is, it is the end of April. This tea with honey at the bottom still
tastes as cold and bitter as New England in late March.
There comes a point when it is not satisfying to stare longingly at the honey
clinging to the ice cubes and sunk to the bottom of the glass.
Today the honey will go in first, then the tea, lukewarm and free to swirl.
Let this honey flavor the moment, infusing every swallow.
Let the temperature be an afterthought.
On days like this no one drinks the tea for the ice.
All that matters is the flavor, each sip the smooth taste of home.
It will not do to have the goodness sink through the stubborn cold
like it always has done here, taunting us with the golden promise
of saccharine final moments when the tea
is almost gone.
Christopher Clauss is an introvert, Ravenclaw, father, poet, photographer, and middle school science teacher in rural New Hampshire. His mother believes his poetry is “just wonderful.” Both of his daughters declare that he is the “best daddy they have,” and his pre-teen science students rave that he is “Fine, I guess. Whatever.”