TWI Poetry : Afternoon Tea in Tombach

A poem by Jan Ball

Afternoon Tea in Tombach

The brutal red of the tea garden
roses: I want to shield my eyes 
from them, perhaps the effect 
of too much caffeinated Earl 
Grey tea and Black Forest Cake
in the Bavarian sun.

The vivid pink Queen Elizabeth 
roses I cultivated in my Brisbane
garden, how I sliced the stems
of two dozen a day neatly 
on a diagonal with the secateurs
blade, carried them into the house 
in a wicker basket and arranged 
them in gray pottery pitchers
then sketched them the day before
my daughter’s cesarean birth;

and then a baby girl.

Jan Ball has had 337 poems published in various journals including: Atlanta Review, American Journal of Poetry, Calyx, Nimrod and Phoebe, internationally as well as in the U.S.. Jan’s three chapbooks and full length poetry collection, I Wanted To Dance With My Father, are available from Finishing Line Press and Amazon. She was nominated by Orbis, England, 2020, for a Pushcart award. When not traveling, Jan and her husband like to cook for friends. Jan was a nun for seven years then lived in Australia for fourteen years with her Aussie husband and two children. She completed a dissertation at The University of Rochester: Age and Natural Order in Second Language Acquisition then taught ESL at RIT, Loyola and DePaul Universities back in Chicago.

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