Good Friday tritina: It is finished

Eternity hangs on it
there where our sin-debt is
paid in full, finished

we would be finished
yet out of love, He did it
He is

what love is
the robe of righteousness is finished
take it, wear it

It is finished

Detail of a shirt made for me by a friend

The words “It is finished” are a translation of tetelestai – Greek for what a servant would say on returning to a master after completing a mission. It’s an accounting word, signifying a debt paid in full; it was stamped on receipts. The phrase indicates a final and complete sacrifice: Christ died as the Passover lambs were being slaughtered. And where were Passover lambs born? Bethlehem. The responsibility of those shepherds in the field abiding, keeping watch over their flocks by night…

The tritina form is comprised of ten lines with repeated ending words in this pattern:



1 2 3

Micah smiles

a tritina, with love – Franna

How you make me smile,
your sweet head adorned with ribbon,
eyes glimmering with light.

Such a celestial interplay of light
across your face when you smile,
recognition just beginning to ribbon.

Gift of my life, tied with ribbon.
I’m dissolved by the light
of this angelic smile.

Your smile, a ribbon of light in my soul.

Micah, three months old

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