The rain poured onto the cold cobbles of Manchester
So I retired to a hotel for tea
Not just any hotel but the Midland
Famous in Manchester for its tea.
The concierge so kindly showed me where to sit
To imbibe the layers and textures of said tea.
A man sat at a table to my left
He was eating a hot buttered tea cake from my youth
And drinking, according to his moustache
A creamy cappuccino with chocolate
A man sat at a table to my right
Eating a sandwich most undignified
I couldn't see what it contained
But I wondered was it crumbly Lancashire cheese
With obligatory pickle.
Front and centre to me were two ladies
A large and portly one on the right
Sucking in piece after piece of croissant
Whilst sharing, dare I say oversharing
Her mother's hip and bathroom frailty
The lady on the left said little
Smiling copiously and nodding
Like a dog in the back window of a car.
Time passed, I read the menu over and over
Delightful snippets of my northern childhood
And the tea blends I wanted three.
British mint and caramel without the caramel
Cleanser tea with hints of cinnamon
And northern black tea that as I recall
Granny could stand a spoon in.
However, this day was not the moment
For a tea revelation for me
As the good staff at the Midland chose to ignore
My pleas for service and tea.
After half an hour of listening to
Portly mother's woes and how young
Lewis looked so much like Uncle Benedict Twist
At seventeen and starting university.
I got up, gathered my scant belongings
And like any poet knows, stored up
The occasion for a passive
Dear Midland Hotel
I would like to try your tea
Perhaps you could bring me some
If I deign to enter your door once more.