My mother took me to a second-hand store
and bought me a teacup, a cylinder of china, modest,
with an image of a geisha holding a gray origami crane,
branches and blossoms behind her, characters on the side.
I think it is too large for traditional Japanese tea,
but I use it despite the way it gets as hot as what it holds.
I have carried it now half-way across the world, as if
there would be no cups in Cordova, as if I might be caught
somewhere with tea that needed catching from the sky,
as if in inheriting this orphaned thing, I promised
to keep it with me, and the girl painted on it, whose lover
went to war, and who has decided to set out in search of him,
as if I promised her passage in my shabby luggage in exchange
for something beautiful that is both from home and not.
2012 Moira G. Gallaga©