Indelible (a tritina poem)

Finished a poetry course this afternoon, with the writing of my first tritina.

The form: ten lines comprised of three tercets and a final line. The tercet lines end with three different words, in this pattern: 123, 312, 231, with the final line containing all three words, usually in 123 order.

The image of an old table finally came to mind, along with the three end words. As I started writing, I noted that my first couple of lines happened to have eight syllables. It then became a “thing” for me to keep eight syllables in EVERY line…so here you have it:


Heirloom table, cross-hatched with scars
I would refinish your surface
if not for erasing stories

family-gathering stories
traded while the bread knife yet scars
daily life, beneath the surface.

-Oh, how the memories surface
as I stroke these silent stories
told by generational scars.

Our scars surface in our stories.

1880s heart of pine table. Paris on Ponce & Le Maison Rouge. CC-BY

3 thoughts on “Indelible (a tritina poem)

  1. The intertwining of stories and scars and surface creates an intriguing and poignant poem. “the bread knife yet scars” This image works well as the knife is passed around the table as each person takes a piece and becomes part of the story of this table.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have actually not heard of a tritina at least I don’t think I have. I like your poem. When did Indelible come to you because it is a great title, I think. I think “if not for erasing stories” is such an important, anchoring line right in your first stanza. I love the table and its memories for you. Did your three words just pop into your head? Did you brainstorm? I imagine it takes time to make a form like this work. I should try. I have a poem to write on a deadline so maybe this form might work and if it does I will return to let you know. Keep writing, Fran!


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