The boy who came to tea / a poem


This tale is about reminiscing – imagine a woman, maybe in her 60s or 70s – thinking back to her childhood & the family house…

I remember, the boy who came to tea

It was many years gone by

When we still gathered on a Sunday

Around the carefully laid table

And Mum would pour from the gilded tea-pot.


The boy had pink hair!

There was a diamond-like stud

Worn as an ear ring

And mascara on his lashes.


In that shimmering crystal, the sun reflected

And in miniature, we were displayed.

Hands folded in laps, teacups in saucers

And not looking at his painted nails

But, staring.


His nails were on the table

Boldly spread.

Black polish too.

It was cracked and chipped

But he seemed pleased, with that.


Dad roared later.

He held his temper well

Sipping tea and eating cake

With such hostility iced over

In delightful smiles.


As Mum folded away the tablecloth

Masie and I washed-up.

Taking care to clean the china

And not make any chips

In the painted on flowers.


It all went back into the dresser

Neat, clean, stored away

Until another Sunday tea.


I remember, at the table

Some small detail, just now

The gilded edge of the cups

Not yet worn, but

Held against that boy’s soft pink lips.


He laughed so gladly, so easily

And as my brother passed over the plate

Filled with neatly cut sandwiches, in squares and triangles –

Their hands, briefly touched.


My brother flushed and

There was a moment when all he could do was stare

At the long thick lashes of the boy

With pink hair.



Hope you liked it!  I actually wrote this with the intention of reading it aloud at a poetry open mic – hope I get the chance soon…


Lizzie HW


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