Below Crane Mountain
The barest puff of wind
makes poplar leaves tremble but
when we think “tea leaves” we visualize
chopped bits in their tissue-like bags
that hint at protocol, or Miss Manners,
maybe Hints from Heloise. Few now think
of the perforated-metal “tea ball”
— properly called “tea infuser” — that
Monica nicknamed the “weather vane.”
Back then we were all still native
poets who had not grown out of the role
by studying poetry in public schools.
We even had a name for the one-pound blocks
of store-brand A&P oleo margarine.
We called them “Marfak” for Texaco gas stations’
big red sign above their lubrication bays.
Even in light winds, cut tea leaves go poof ,
to scatter like our close friends from youth.