Sarah Steffens

Tea and Honey by Academy Monthly


I want my babies back

I want them drawn into me like English tea in your white kettle

Pure, warm, rich ebony, filling me to the brim

Giving me energy, electricity, life


I use my energy, my electricity, and my life

Daily, in the field, without my babies

Only for it to be lost in the thick tufts of white cotton

I pluck it gently but my fingers get caught, cut, blood drawn and

seeping into the cotton like a bad conscience


My mark is made in blood

On your sheets and your pure white dresses


My babies are yours and my babies are mine, Sir

They are all of my goodness and all of my pain

You provide the pain and I provide the goodness

They live with weights on their backs because of you

And what you did to me to make them become real


I want my babies back, Sir

From the wrath of your Honey

She sticks to them and she sticks to me

Their ebony tea doesn’t melt Her honey

My babies are reminders of all of your sin to her, Sir

And she does not let her sweetness seep into their softness

Only the stick

And they can’t shake it, Sir

The burden

And they can’t forget her


I am a log in a fen

Sulking in the stagnant

Alone and weighed down

My bark was removed long ago

I am vulnerable and I am seeping

I will not crack

For my babies are far more strong than I