The Teashop on Madison Street

June 23, 2022

By Allie Robyn


We stopped at the teashop on Madison Street.

Abstract renditions of flowers hung from the walls.

A case displayed little pastries, perfect and neat.

The worker behind the counter gave us a smile.

We returned the greeting and found a seat.


We glanced at the menu and realized quickly

That most of the items were beyond our price range.

We decided on two soups and to share a tea.

A young waiter came and took our order.

He promptly left, then it was just you and me. 


Some Red Hat Society ladies passed us by.

They laughed and chatted, walking easily, carefree,

Their red hats as glaringly out of place as I.

But you just smiled and carried our conversation. 

Slowly I loosened up, found it natural to reply.


Our soups and a teapot with two cups were brought out.

The soup was interesting, but more important, warm.

It helped clear my throat of any lingering doubt.

Sometimes you would ask a question. Mostly, you smiled.

After we finished, you asked what I thought about.


I was confused; I’d told you I liked the meal. 

You shook your head, your eyes laughed. That’s not what you meant.

What did I value most? How did it make me feel?

Would I chase after my dreams? Or let dreams chase me?

Which demons lived in my head? Which were real?


I stared at you, at a loss for words. You stared back.

I couldn’t remember the last time someone asked those questions,

Or when someone cared so much. It felt like an attack.

And I was unprepared, defenseless against it.

But I realized something, and my muscles went slack.


I cried in the teashop on Madison Street.


  1. Emily Waldorf

    Aw! I love the whimsical way this starts out. You did a good job, though, of preparing me for something less whimsical to follow. I love the line, “Would I chase after my dreams? or let dreams chase me?”

  2. Michaela

    This took quite a turn at the end! I like the focus on authenticity, and the contrast between the dream-like external environment and the inner battle in the main character’s mind.

  3. Christopher Babcock

    This is so great! I love it!


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