Mid-Day Tea, 1944
by Michael Escoubas

On Tuesdays Mom put in
extra time cleaning the house—
fresh napkins, doilies and table cloth.
She wore an Army-green, A-line
tea dress with padded shoulders
sashed at the waist; her nylons
featured a black seam down the middle.
She wore Peep-toe shoes. Her hair,
lush and brown, fell back
over her ears, topped with a pink,
beret cap, slanted to the left.
About 1:00 p.m., other ladies
arrived, dressed much the same.
The tea steamed as on a cold
January morning; the cakes,
oven-fresh, were piled high with
frosting. After a time, all the ladies
brought out pictures of their men
in military uniforms, placed them
reverently in front of them,
held hands, and with rivers of tears,
prayed for their safe return.

Previously published in Steve Henderson in Poetry and Paint, 2019,
by Michael Escoubas.

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