Poem: “The Last of the Lukewarm Tea”

 

“The Last of the Lukewarm Tea”

By Mark Ivan Cole

(c) 2018 Mark Ivan Cole

No finer ship
Ever sailed the slip
With a prouder crew than she,
And no other schooner
Ever foundered sooner
Than The Last of the Lukewarm Tea.

Aye, she lost all sails
In a hungry gale
On the waves of an angry sea.
Tho’ we lashed each plank,
We almost sank
With The Last of the Lukewarm Tea.

She came to grief
On the barrier reef
By the gods’ and the winds’ decree.
To the sea we were cast
With the shattered mast
Of The Last of the Lukewarm Tea.

Aye, the men who clung
Slipped away, each one;
We were five, then four, then three,
Till I and you
Were the only two
From The Last of the Lukewarm Tea.

Nigh sixty-odd years
Since we faced those fears,
Awash in the brine of the sea.
And in all those years
We have shed no tears
For The Last of the Lukewarm Tea.

But as this cold day wanes,
We take our canes
And our aches and pains
Down the winding lanes
Till we reach the shore
Where we kneel once more
And embrace again
Like we did back then.

And when this setting sun
Says the day is done,
We trundle back
Up that well-worn track.
Then I and you—
As we always do
When the day is through—
We make tea for two.

We fill the pot,
Brew it nice and hot,
With a cup for you and for me,
And we scald our tongues
For the men who clung
To the shattered mast
To the very last
Of The Last of the Lukewarm Tea.

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