(OJ Note: Free Tea is one of my poems that appears in Filmic Cuts 3: Curse of the Ellipsis…. It was inspired by many a hotel visit. Hope you enjoy.)


Where does the free tea go?

The one that sits in the dish

On the hotel bedroom table

Along with the black coffee


Where does it vanish off to?

When there are no cups soiled

No spoons caked in stains

No empty packets to throw

For is it taken away?

By the hand of the thirsty visitor

Who does not wish for tea now

But soon will crave it’s flavour

Do they horde it away in packs?

Much like the industrious squirrel

Hiding it within their luggage

Smiling as they take it away

Are their cupboards full of packets?

Of the free tea that resides inside

Mountainous piles of bagged leaf

Ready to smother the curious

Will they open the door?

See what’s inside

Get smothered with tea

Their hand twitching dead

Or is the tea truly free?

Has it taken it’s own leave

Hopped from atop the table

Slithered the slip of the door

Does it walk amongst the people?

Those that stay fleeting the night

Here today, and gone tomorrow

Partaking in the breakfast buffet

Does the free tea escape it’s fate?

Does it remain fully intact

It’s mixture innards encased

It’s drawstring left all taut

Or was it simply, never there?

Is the free tea a shared illusion

Do we think of it as existing

Just to feel somewhat safe

Does it represent something more?

A lost symbol of a better time

One with life and freedom

One with sugar and sweeteners

For is our tea, truly free?

Were we ever truly afforded it

Or are we always paying our way

Trading coin for sustenance and drink

In the end, does this matter?

All these questions we ask

Do we need to know the answer

Of where, the free tea, goes


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