We are gathered under a low sky, where a ring of stone
sits in a circle of barren earth sown with scattered gravel. Our car stands empty now except for the trunk full of wine.
Someone breaks bread; someone says grace.

Beyond the circle, a path descends to the river. She follows it down, walks with grace
where my feet would slip. I would turn an ankle or a phrase on that stone
in her way. My words are unsteady around her; I blame the wine.

The bread is gone, the wine
is drunk; or we are. And long ago our grace
deserted us. We are lost in this maze of bare earth and false stone.

We followed winter into its heart of stone. Between sips of wine we swallowed grace.

This is the end product of a gauntlet I threw down yesterday in a discussion with some of the editors over at yeah write. It’s a tritina, the little sister of the sestinas I’ve been writing lately. My words were stone, wine, grace, inspired by this week’s yeah write prompt “what is written in the stone.” I’d already written a piece for the fiction challenge, but I’ve been informed I’m not exempt from poetry on that account….