Agony of the Leaves – Blaise Allen

Chinese term for the moment tea
leaves unfold, releases their fragrance:

herbaceous Breast Flowers,
delicate, hand-picked, and smooth.

Jasmin pearls from late Quin Dynasty,
Hibiscus sweetened afternoon decaf.

Yunnan Gold Tips, spicy and creamy,
hints of cocoa, sweet baked apples.

Wu Yi Oolong or Black Cloud,
bold, full-bodied, robust leaves.

We sit in Starbucks clattering on laptops,
take and edit selfies, check calls, pay bills,

scan social media, meet up, text. We never
taste our cups of Fujian sun, clouds, and rain.

B AllenBlaise Allen, Ph.D., Director of Community Outreach at The Palm Beach Poetry Festival. Her poems have appeared in: The American Journal of Poetry, South Florida Poetry Journal, Long Island Literary Review, Naugatauk River Review, The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Blue Fifth Review, Long Island Quarterly, and Mothering Magazine. Blaise bridges her passion of social justice and the arts through community engagement and project management.