Between Patients

February 1, 2008
Richard M. Berlin, MD

Volume 25, Issue 2

Poetry of the Times

I sip gunpowder green tea from a cracked clay cup I repaired years ago. I love to drink tea and imagine myself as the cup, glued tight enough to hold the boiling brew patients pour into me each hour. My mind likes to drift to dim sum lunch in Chinatown, where red-bean buns, taro root, and baby bok choy steam in bamboo baskets. When my dragon clock chimes the time, and the next patient clears his throat in the waiting room, I savor one last whiff of far-off mountains and take my final sip, always surprised the tea has turned so bitter, so cold.