All the ways to drink tea were
steeped in you:
warming the pot as if it were a heart in need of devout attention. The fullness of time
required to brew was the patience of good things
you taught me to wait for. The tea cozy
a relic of the women who raised us;
purposeful, long suffering, memory-infused by ghosts
of conversations. Wisdom, secrets, prayers: milk, sugar, teaspoons.
The tray laid in particular fashion; a map or key or code to the mysteries
that would waylay us. And these were the ways we loved each other:
Jennifer Mariani was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. Her poetry has been featured in Mosi oa Tunya Literary Review, Uproar (The Lawrence House Centre For The Arts), Off Topic Publishing, The League of Canadian Poets and Wingless Dreamer. She has been a guest judge for Off Topic Publishing’s monthly poetry contest. Jennifer writes about Africa, both the landscape and being white in post-independence Zimbabwe. She also writes about women’s issues including domestic violence and eating disorders. Jennifer currently resides in Calgary, Alberta with her two daughters, three cats and numerous volumes of Pablo Neruda’s poetry. She teaches ballet and her favorite poems are written for her children. Her chapbook All Forgotten Now (2022) is available from Off Topic Publishing.