The title is a phrase I made up as a variation of corps de ballet. Corps de ballet is defined as the dancers in a ballet company that perform as a background for the soloists or principal dancers. Tasse is French for “cup” and this poem is about the cups in my cupboard that perform as a background to the selection of the principal cup of the day.
Corps de Tasse
a grey early December Thursday
drizzling an almost freezing mist.
Still in the cusp of awakening, she starts a pot of coffee
and opens the cabinet to grab a cup.
In her dream mist, she sees her collection of cups differently this morning.
It’s a backstage gathering of a corps de tasse
auditioning for a solo performance.
Now awake with intent to select her first companion for the day,
her hand comfortably slides around the familiar old friend of her old company mug,
but then spots the squat Christmas cup of cats dancing in aprons,
another fine choice. But there’s
also the one with a dragon and a top to contain the fire in her joe,
(but that never worked she remembered).
Up front is the cup shouting “DON’T SEND A BOY TO DO A MAN’S JOB, SEND A Woman…”,
but that one’s too loud for a misty morning.
On the shelf above with wares rarely used
she spies a delicate china cup trimmed in teal.
Its hand-painted scene of an alert morning lark
had gone untouched for years.
Too pretty for use, a family heirloom, not dishwasher safe, saved for special occasions.
Then a sliver of dawn light diffused by her beveled glass window
breaks through the fog and creates tiny rainbows on the wall.
Today can be special, she reminds herself.
Stretching on tiptoes she selects the china
that assumed no expectation to be chosen
from the cast of potentials auditioning each morning
to take center stage for the day.
She savors the spiral of steam.
Feeling the growing heat with both hands,
to the present.