times for drinking tea in china
— peter bakowski
When you’ve bargained well at the market
When you’ve cleared stones from a field
When sheltering from rain
When the horse you’ve tethered quietens
When resting by a riverbank
When a stream’s fish resist your baited hook and shining lures
When envious of a neighbour’s larger herd of goats.
When dreaming of leaving your village, never to return.
When the landlord visits
When remembering lean years, the selling of family heirlooms to buy food
When the midwife has left, her good work done
When a fox has been amongst your chickens
When a lost sheep is found, bleating in a ditch
When you’ve repaired your bicycle, brushed the dirt from your knees
When you’re the only one awake in the dormitory
When far from home.
When thinking about what your parents taught you
When thinking about what you’re had to learn for yourself
When you’ve paid off a debt
When trying to understand a relative
When you’ve paced the room for too long
When discussing the afterlife
When the fog lifts from the path you’ve taken
When your tea canister is almost empty.
* from Beneath Our Armour