Three of six

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?’






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