Chinese Coffee Mugs

 

Nothing less complicated than a coffee mug

Yet how complex it truly is

 

I know nothing of its beginnings

 

How it was made

How it can be so smooth

Or how it got so white

 

And those beautiful designs placed on that same smooth white surface

What are all those colors made of

What gives them their majestic brilliance

 

What’s the substance of any of it and where did it come from anyway

 

It was simply placed in my hands

I never really have much choice

 

Only know that I’ve used it and many others like it

Never anything more…and never anything less

 

Nothing less complicated than a coffee mug

If I can’t understand that…well how can I possibly know the world

 

Someone whispers in my ear –

 

It was Made in China

 

Oh well that’s a start I say

What do we know about China and her people I ask

 

Someone whispers They drink a lot of tea

 

Oh I say I think somehow I knew that

 

Yes but they’re steadily switching over to coffee

 

Really I gasp and how do we know that

 

Because they’re making a lot of these mugs

 

Hmm I say tasting my coffee

Nothing’s as simple as all that I suppose

 

In the end the Chinese may turn out to be the coffee baron’s biggest customer

 

Amazing I say truly astounding

I continue to sip my coffee in my Chinese mug

 

Someone whispers I believe the stool you’re sitting on is Made in China too

All of a sudden I’m nervous and it’s not just the caffeine

 

Nothing more complicated than the Chinese I say

Feeling as though the only one astonished in the room is myself

 

Why do I know nothing of their beginnings

Or how they got so white

Or what gives them their majestic brilliance

 

Or how we became so Oriental in the first place

 

The stamp is on the bottom the voice whispers again

 

Hmm I say turning the smooth white mug upside down

The coffee spills all over the table but the stamp is indeed clearly visible

 

The voice chuckles as someone tosses me a rag

I make a grab for it but a yellow finger is pointing at a little snippet of white sewn to one corner

 

I choose not to read it

 

When we turn everything upside down there we’ll find the Chinese

 

I stare at the coffee mug and those colors still so vibrant

 

The voice whispers one last time

 

The coffee is also Chinese

 

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