Two white mugs, hand-me-downs,
rest on our counter top.
The kettle has already shrieked.
The water's poured.
Deep in cupboards, above all of this,
six cups, six saucers, six bone-white bread plates
sleep off their journey from the Royal Doulton
factory. We won't use them tonight,
nor will we disturb our willowware teapot,
its picket fences, bricked pagodas,
the repetitious two blue birds
stopped short of pecking one another.
Tonight, like other nights, the teapot's tucked
under a pale blue tea-cozy,
China just a blue-and-white dream
where frozen harbor boats are free
to sail secretly, and the boy
who's caught the fish can finally throw it back,
and two blue birds peck limitlessly.