Tuesday, June 9, 2015


Though I am wary of drinking at Baba Yaga's
My strong black tea has been brewed
By my high school principal, Dr. Leonard Fliedner,
Who was sitting across from her when I arrived
Like an old friend of the house. He nodded to me
And went to make tea, pulling loose leaves
From the pocket of his grey striped suit jacket.
He used a pocket watch to time the steeping
Then measured  a third of a teaspoon of sugar
And one squeeze of lemon into my cup
(Though I have taken milk since some time in my 20's)
He is not someone I would expect to know Baba Yaga
But I smile to see him, so neat and grey and quiet
That he might as well have been alive.
I suppose I felt much as a Christian might
When he discovers his great-great-grandmother
Had been a barmaid at some dim saloon
Much patronized by saints who, for her sake,
Might work a small miracle or forgive a gaudy sin.

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