Lady of Iona, sweet and unadorned
ascends the smooth-worn steps of stone;
one, two, three are steep, but four
is shallow and she waits before the next
for it is one of three more which will challenge
before she reaches gentle number eight
to pause and rest before the last descent.
Dorian with long-legged muscled stretch
is showing off how he can miss the first
and start on number two, but even he
must take each step beyond, though he
stands taller than Iona at the top
as though poised on one invisible stair.
He, too, must wait, for someone blocks the way.
Phrygia, already on step three, denies the pair
their tryst, and soon surpasses both to soar
as third above them both. She stoops to conquer
Dorian’s heart, and true Iona knows that she
Must share him on the white stairs every time
they meet to scale the mountain a la mode.
First published in Star Tips for Writers
Thanks to Wendy Webb for suggesting the subject: ‘When shall we three meet again, Dorian?’