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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Tea Leaf Surprises

The other day I wrote a poem about Christina's surprise 21st birthday party. The Lincoln Room was always my favorite tea room - it was located near West Chester University and I would go there a lot. Christina is from Cleveland and before she moved to West Chester, every summer she would go back home. In June 2012, Christina turned 21; however, since that was before she moved to West Chester, she was going back home after the semester ended. In May 2012, Christina, Marsha, Christine, and I trekked to the Lincoln Room. Christina obviously knew about the lunch, but she didn't know what was waiting for her at the lunch. She was so surprised with the cupcakes and the gift I made her/CD I bought her.

This poem, along with a few other poems I wrote about the Lincoln Room, will be published in my upcoming book As Far As The Eyes Can See. Enjoy!

Tea Leaf Surprises

Marsha, Christina, Christine, and I left campus at noon,
on a mild May day; birds loudly chirping and crooning.
Christina had no idea what was at the Lincoln Room,
we left campus giggling and chatting, watching rain clouds loom;

as we climbed the brick sidewalks up High Street,
Christina only thought we were going for lunch and sweets,
I had her gift hiding safely in my purple knapsack—
Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party, a t-shirt—team Katniss on the back.

As we continued to climb, we gabbed about the semester’s end,
Marsha preparing to graduate, anxiety doesn’t bend;
this would be Christine’s last time here too—
come fall, she’ll be in a city school, brand new.

Other college students walked by us going to the bar—
“it’s five o’clock somewhere,” a phrase that travels far.
Yet despite the cacophony the town is calm—
the stores exude radiance, silence of the courthouse a psalm.

Chester County Courthouse signifies we’re near,
from the stop and go with pictures, being late is a fear:
we turn the corner—we’re here—it’s time for a party and grub,
a little too excited, we slam open the door, not snubbed.

We are all underdressed, well, I’m mismatched:
purple shirt with a multicoloured hippie skirt, patched—
the colour combination makes me really stand out,
but the surprise birthday party rids my pouts.

We are quickly seated and handed menus,
this is the others’ first time here; I give them all reviews—
oolong teas ordered with tuna and chicken sandwiches;
our orders are sent to Susan without any glitches.

Now let the gossiping begin! Excitement about summer,
Christina turning 21 in June, school’s out—no bummer—
she is looking forward to celebrating in Cleveland
along with some high school friends and her favorite band.

We sip our tea and look at the cute bears,
it is so quaint here, relaxing, I should have invited Claire.
The tea sandwiches on other tables look yummy—
I begin to hear the rumblings of our tummies.

The tea sandwiches Susan makes are always with love,
carefully stuffed with chicken, tuna, or palmetto gloves;
finally! The sandwiches are brought out on porcelain plates,
along with an order of dessert—here comes fate!

We scarfed down the sandwiches rather quickly
and as soon as we finished, there she is, I can only see—
Joellen places he cupcake on the table;
“SURPRISE!” we all yell as the lit candle stables.

“Happy birthday,” we begin as the gold tray of sweets is placed.
“Happy birthday,” I hand Christina the gift—the look of her face!
She rips the cellophane, she loves the shirt and CD—
what a surprise birthday for all of us to remember so beautifully!


  1. I'm always impressed by anyone who can write in verse. Well done!

    1. Thank you! Sometimes I feel like verse is easier than free verse. I'm working on a free verse poem about cooking fried whole fish... it's interesting. I might have to widdle down some thoughts and focus more on the cooking aspect.