Cristine A. Gruber – Ritual


In a weakened moment

I open the box,

remove each card

and read them

one by one.

I don’t glance

at the clock,

not even once,

taking all the time I need

to get through the observance.

When done with

my ceremony,

I close up the case,

tape it securely,

then bind it with string.

But even as

I bury it

in the deepest,

furthest corner

of the storage unit,

I remain fully aware

that these measures

won’t stop me

from repeating the ritual

the very next weekend.

Cristine A. Gruber has had work featured in numerous magazines, including: North American Review, Writer’s Digest, Ascent Aspirations, Dead Snakes Online Journal, The Endicott Review, The Homestead Review, Iodine Poetry Journal, Miller’s Pond, The Penwood Review, Poem, Thema, The Tule Review, and Westward Quarterly. Her first full-length collection of poetry, Lifeline, was released by Infinity Publishing and is available from

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