He Was Big On Tea

A little empty that morning
she sat on the top step
of the verandah
sipping tea, sipping thought.
Three steps down to the pavement
squares of sandstone
lay in even handed rhythms;
flatly refusing to contour.

He’d moved away last week; big bloke, big smile
could clasp four pavers in one hand,
laid the lot inside ten days,
maybe a record, who could say.

Completed, the pavement was now empty of him,
no more scraping back, no more chipping out,
no more broad smiling hands
reaching for her cups of tea.

She missed this; as she missed the slightly flat renditions of
midnight oil’ and ‘fleetwood mac’, the cock of his straw hat
and the farewell call of… “see you sometime in the morning suze…”
(always at exactly 6.30 a.m.)

He was big on tea,
said he was glad
to meet someone who knew it
wasn’t merely the dis-colouration of milk.
She’d smile at that, he was right,
things like tea were best, given time to infuse.
she sipped her tea, sipped her thoughts
and the deeper taste that came with a little time.