THE TEA PARTY (A POEM)

OUR TEA PARTY

Our tea party was intended to be
Elegant and refined
With our best white tablecloths
Covering several small round tables,
And mama’s very best cloth napkins
And her best Noritaki china.
We had several small tea pots, one
For each table,
And watercress sandwiches,
With the crusts cut off.
I had bought two dozen
Petit fours at the bakery
That morning so I knew
They were fresh
And our guests would have
Their choice of several teas.
My sister and I had planned it down
To the last detail and
We were wearing our best spring dresses
And I my patent leather shoes.
Everything was ready for the guests to arrive.
No one knows to this day who was responsible for
leaving the back door open but the dogs
– those clumsy doltish golden retrievers
That my father loved so much – came barreling in
And while my sister and I screamed with horror
And dismay, the dogs tore through the
Dining room where the tables were set
Pulling tablecloths and china crashing to the floor.
Ruined! Everything ruined! My mother would
Never forgive us,
And my father maintained that the dogs
Didn’t know any better.
All we had left were the boxes of
Petit fours, on the kitchen counter,
Out of harm’s reach.
We swept up the broken glass
And made a pitcher of Kool-Aid
And we served petit fours on
Paper plates.
Our girlfriends thought it was a scream.
My mother never thought so.
Don’t even mention “tea party” in her
Presence.

-Sandra Lee Smith

(I know you are going to ask so I will tell you ahead of time – not a word of it is true. My sister Becky and I were too far apart in ages – she was 4 yrs older than I – to ever do
anything like this together. We were worlds apart until I became an adult.)
–SANDRA LEE SMITH

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