Photo by Evgenia Stergioula on Unsplash

The hardest thing about vacation is the preparation. We are trying desperately to get away for our first family trip since last August. That middle of pandemic trip where a fluke fire consumed our truck, camper, and Evan’s bike in a single night.

We were awakened from a deep sleep to a neighbor banging frantically on the doors, walls, and windows of our camper. When we opened the door, the wall of orange flames threw us backward with their heat.

“Get out! Get out! The gas tank might blow!”

Those terrifying words shocked us in to action. We had to wake Ev and get the dogs, before running as far away as we could from the camper.

The whole experience left us shell shocked and bereft of vehicle and camper.

So you can imagine how the memory of that night one year ago drags on us as we pack to leave on our first camping trip since the fire.

I decided to use the triolet with its tight repetitive structure to speak the words we are all feeling.


The list growing by the minute
works us hard so we don’t forget;
we try harder just to win it.
The list growing by the minute
has us seeking virtue in it
to make sure we do not regret.
The list growing by the minute
works us hard so we don’t forget.

—Carla Jeanne Jordan

A triolet is a poem of eight lines, typically of eight syllables each, rhyming abaaabab and so structured that the first line recurs as the fourth and seventh and the second as the eighth.

Sounds like some weird crazy poetry torture device, doesn’t it?

Well, I finished off my coffee and found this helpful cheat chart.

Triolet Lines:
1. A
2. B
3. a Rhymes with 1st line.
4. A identical to 1st line.
5. a Rhymes with 1st line.
6. b Rhymes with 2nd line.
7. A Identical to 1st line.
8. B Identical to 2nd line.

Day #1


we are ride sharing
this great adventure
coasting up and down
the winding trails
spread out like
veins on a butterfly’s wing
running this way and that
laughing and dancing
until a shadow
passes over the sun
a boulder
rises from the earth–
a mountain
of insurmountable odds
blocks the path
our winged dreams halt
the end of the road
or so it seems
we look at one another
a great pause
a solemn stillness
and then I see
the twinkle in your eye
you throw your head back
and laugh into the wind
obstacles run rampant
you say
it’s all in the way one looks at it
you say
this is just a small hiccup
you say
we will not succumb
you say
as you reach for my hand
step by step
hand in hand
we climb up and up and up
until we see the face of God.