I ask for a cup of hot tea,
black with a twist of lemon.

Apparently, it’s snobbish
to want it brewed instead
of a spoonful of rushed.

To the waitress I’m just another customer
the highway dropped between
eggs over easy and a stack of pancakes.

With a tired eyeroll she places
a teabag floating in hot water
on the table and grumbles,
“Will there be anything else?”

I left the rest of my argument
on the tip of my tongue and drank
the bitter taste of the middle of nowhere.

There’s a Chevy truck outside the window
waiting to take me away.
She’s a double shift into survival. 

©Susie Clevenger 2020


  1. I guess truck stops aren't used to steeped tea drinkers driving Chevy trucks. I used to have one but never stopped for tea.
    Nice tension reliever reading this. Thanks to all you guys helping protect us "60 and overs" from the flu.

  2. Sometimes, it's easier (and less frustrating) to sip what we get. The alternative is just too much trouble. Still, it would be nice if we could get our brew concocted the way we like it every now and again.

    Also, the title made me smile. It made me think about the fact that where I grew up, asking for a teabag would've been what someone would considered snobbish (since everyone grew their own herbs, and buying tea things would've been seen as extra posh). Perspective works in mysterious ways.

  3. This is such a powerful write, Susie. I have never truly been able to grasp as to why it is considered snobbish to prefer one thing over another. I know many people who prefer their tea brewed instead of settling for a teabag. Your poem does justice to portray how little to no etiquettes the waitress clearly possesses.

  4. The waitress is obviously not a tea drinker. I've often wondered what the response would be if I ordered a cup of iced tea microwaved for 70 seconds! Just sayin.....

  5. A whole environment and atmosphere brilliantly conveyed by 'showing not telling'. Favourite lines: 'the bitter taste of the middle of nowhere' and 'She's a double shift into survival'.

  6. May your truck take you to places both near and far. To a place where hot tea replaces an uncaring heart of a server. Cheers to those who would rather have a hot (or cold) tea instead of a steaming mug of joe.

  7. (My apologies for a late response...covid- 19 had me busy! )

    There's something of the wild-wild west about this write.....not sure why it strikes me that way. All I know is that I absolutely LOVE IT.


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