My Humble Mug of Tea

by Jamie Sughroue Brown

Perched upon the weathered pine desk

is my humble mug of tea. Earthy, pungent mint

permeates the stale air, refreshing

my fatigued eyes as dusk settles

in for the evening on my puckered brow.

With a startling, pop! The timer triggers the lamp,

bathing the room in ocher light, tempering

the swarthy shadows skulking

in the corners of my office, wallowing

in their own darkness, tempting

me toward the peaceful ease of sleep, away

from the strife of my mental toiling.

Sullied by graphite-besmirched fingers day after day,

my mug, ivory at its conception, boasts,

"World's Greatest Aunt" in bright, blue, bold

Times New Roman font.

Soothing yet inspiring me as I struggle

words, phrases, tense into their respective places

on the crisp, white, awaiting sheaf of paper.

Scribbling away, whorls of steam evaporate

as my humble mug of tea, forgotten,

accompanies me through a moment

of epiphany. We've done this before,

my tea and I. It awaits, stalwart,

growing cool, until at last,

I place my pencil on the desk,

and sip.