Supine cats under deep shade
open an eye at tables laid
for afternoon tea: no blackbird song
or jasmine scent can keep that off for long.
The shade of apricot and peach
defies the pleasures of the beach,
tea and cake and scones and jam
persuade the palate to the same,
and satisfied spirits regard
the patchwork shade about the yard.
The rumble of a distant jet
scarcely disturbs the china, set
for another cup of tea and scones,
and memories come out in throngs
of trolley – buses, trains and streets,
of doctors, teachers, magistrates,
and all enclosed in peace and cake.
No cat or blackbird ever knew
the harmony that tea could brew,
or what marriages of the mind
a chocolate éclair could find.