Enjoying a mug of hot tea
tonight I find it a reliable source
of comfort, to help ease away the
mental and physical distress
lingering on from a hectic day.
I’ve slumped into the soft cushions
of the love seat, the dog at my feet,
snuggled up next to my slippers,
that mug of my favorite
Ceylon Orange Pekoe steaming
on the table to my left by the lamp
with its warm white glow a friendly
assurance that darkness and fear
this night must keep their distance.
I didn’t actually brew it from tea leaves.
I just dip the bag right out of the box
into microwaved hot water, a thought
that makes me realize I’m not much of
a connoisseur when it comes to teas,
nor to wine.

I do like an occasional glass or two,
and I appreciate my Porto, tawny or ruby,
especially to help take the bite out of a
chilly Spring evening. But I could not
discuss with you the unique subtleties of
a Cab or a Merlot.

I’m usually prompted to make
my selection from the maze of displays
at the liquor store based on the
label design presenting the most
creative artwork and attractive typeface;
yet another realization that reminds me
of how I sometimes perceive people,
from the outside, like the proverbial
judgment of a book by its cover.
I can’t count how many editions of
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein I’ve wanted
to grab off the shelf just because of
the graphics on the jacket cover.
That in itself, a bit scary.

Such was my experience last week at
Bob’s Discount Wine and Spirits Outlet.
Cautiously inspecting it as though it were
some sort of mysterious, magical elixir,
I stood there wondering what would
actually come pouring out of this enticing
yet unfamiliar bottle of White Zin I had in
my hand and what might be fermenting
behind that anonymous face staring
at me from the next aisle over.
Perhaps in either case, a vintage
from the grapes of wrath.