Monday, August 11, 2014

Emily’s Tea Party 1907--By Zona Rowand Lawrence--United States

Emily’s Tea Party 1907

The tiny tea pot and sugar bowl made of the finest china
sits on the small round table in Emily’s room where Dinah
has set the plates of cookies in the middle of the Damask cloth.

Emily is five years old and enjoys her once a week tea party with friends
Today it is Annabelle and Jessie who come to share her hot chocolate
and ginger snaps cook has made with care especially for her party.

Emily cleans up her toys and puts on her new dress
she checks that her ribbons are still tied in bows
A knock on the door tells her the friends are here
they come in and exclaim on the beautifully set table
they adore the tea pot and sugar bowl so delicate

It is painted with flowers and cherubs to spark imaginations.
They don’t know it’s their last tea party -- for tomorrow
all of the special dishes are to be sold. Emily’s father
has had a financial set-back. They must have money
for food -- but for today the children have a tea party to enjoy.

After many years as a stage performer, Zona found she enjoyed writing. She studies at Paradise Valley Community College.  Her work has appeared in several anthologies at the school and elsewhere. In 2004, she won $20,000.00 for her poem, “Indiscriminate Sestina.”  She and her husband, Jack, are creating a Diet by Poetry Journal to help whittle away those pounds with a little rhyming fun. Last year in the Paradise Review her poem, “If He Had Hit Me”, won third place and her one act play, “A Shaggy Dog Story”, won second place.


  1. Hi, Zona. I love Emily already because she is keeping a stiff upper lip. It is very sad that children feel the brunt of the sad and bad in life, but Emily sounds like she is filling her mind and heart with beautiful memories, perhaps something to strive for in the future? What a beautiful, touching and heartwarming poem that tugs at my heart. Sheri /

  2. Zona, I'm smiling as I read this because it reminds me of my eldest daughter and her little tea party with her dolls. Nice work. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings and congratulations on all your literary accomplishments!

    -MJ (

  3. Dear Zona,

    You know times are really tough when the china used by children in happy times has to be sold. I bet a lot of survivors from the Great Depression remember events like those described in your heartbreaking poem. Wish so hard that I could give little Emily one of my extra sets of china.

    Your poem is also a reminder that there is poverty in America. When a breadwinner loses his/her job, the entire family suffers. God bless you for sharing this wonderful poem!


  4. Very nice... sometimes when times are tough, it hits the weakest the hardest...

  5. Zona, I truly enjoyed the feeling of optimism that your poem portrayed to me of a child enjoying life even in the hardest of times and to the bitter end. Children have such a sense of trust and faith that I can see this child hoping on to the end too that things will get better.. What a great reminder to just live life the best we can and enjoy every moment we can. Thank you for sharing your talent.
    Love, Charlene