Darjeeling Summer Flush
Returning the leaves to the pot he'd drained,
he contemplated the second steeping.
This he'd enjoy at a different pace.
He would savour its aroma in a way
the bright first draught had not allowed.
That early tasting had been too intense,
too eager to please as it burst in his mouth,
overpowering his unready senses.
Now, scalding the pot for a second time,
swirling the tea in the gentlest eddies,
he released the milder unused portion
of the leaf's true flavour, sealed inside
since the day it lay twisted and drying
in the dust and heat of the withering-floor.
Stephen Boyce lives in north Dorset. He is the author of three poetry collections, Desire Lines (Arrowhead 2010), The Sisyphus Dog (Worple 2014) and The Blue Tree (Indigo Dreams 2019), and of three poetry pamphlets. Stephen is co-founder of Winchester Poetry Festival. You can find him here: www.stephenboycepoetry.com.