lemon with my tea

We met for tea on a day when the limbs of trees were bent deep with thick drops of rain. The air was damp and my shoes felt cold even though I had on my good socks, the ones with no holes around the ankles. A teapot was filled with hot water, and the tea leaves scooped up in one of those steeping devices that looks like a small, elegant version of what people pick up trash along a highway with.

We made jokes about people we always made jokes about, and made plans that were the same future plans we always made and never did. 

The teapot filled with ribbons of flavor and aroma; rivers of memories focused around hot sun and a tender hand scooping them up towards focused eyes, with the creases in the hand telling stories and whispering songs from a long time ago. Someone once told me it is easy to forget stories, but hard to forget songs. I think maybe good melodies just help you forget that you are older and don’t remember things as they were.

I poured our cups of tea and offered a lemon and small bowl of sugar. He squeezed the lemon into the cup along with a heap of sugar. I did the same. Outside the world was still wrapped in saran wrap, with blades of grass tired and looking at nothing in particular.

A few weeks later I was gardening, and it was finally sunny. I glanced over at the compost heap and there was a half a lemon, sitting bright and yellow, behind the mold blossoming on two half eaten cherries.