Thursday 28 May 2020

High Tea
            For Amy

by Tobi Alfier

Shoulders and biceps tough,
shapely as a wrought iron
balustrade on a Bourbon Street
balcony, from thousands
of pushups in 5:00am PT,
flushed face a match for the rise
of dawn, always the count
inside her head—forty, fifty,
sixty, controlled face lowered
onto cool grass.

Now she is at tea,
a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” frock,
off the shoulder, over the knee,
I am a lovely woman she thinks,
her reflection poised in the many mirrors.
Legs crossed, patent-leather pumps,
tiny earrings peep through hair
delicately placed over her ears.
A pot of Earl Grey at her elbow,
sweets and sandwiches to the side.

No stripes, no boots, no salutes.
This is a day to remember the quiet
goodness of daily blessings, the definition
of friend. This man—this gentleman—
who doesn’t keep score, or harbor resentment
like a plague…She could get a PhD
in disappointment, but no fieldwork
will be done today. The only decisions—
wildflower honey or acacia, and which flowers
to bring home to grace both their houses.

* * * * *

"High Tea" was first published in Cholla Needles (Issue 33) and is part of Tobi Alfier's new collection Symmetry: earth and sky (forthcoming from Main Street Rag).

Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and multiple Best of the Net nominee. Slices of Alice & Other Character Studies was published by Cholla Needles Press. Symmetry: earth and sky is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (


  1. Love this. Enchanted. Everything fits, while the pushups linger all the way.

  2. This is so subtle, and beautiful. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much Amy. I truly appreciate it.