Moveable Feast

She’d wanted to write it all down

a cookbook maybe, appetizer, entrée,

dessert, an aperitif or two but pages curled

and covers warped in the trunk that yielded

to the damp, the leaky attic more home

to owls than recurring dreams


she finally edited her wants to a single page

how to survive bi-polarity a step at a time

how to outrun her manic highs and lows until

she made a misstep plummeted onto rocky shores

waves pounding until she rallied, clawed her way

back up cliffs slick too often elusive possibility


added in first light through her window its pattern

on the blue rug, the feel of cool hardwood beneath her

feet, listed how to brush her teeth, weigh in

on the cold white scale, swallow fistfuls of tiny pills

select a single cup of yogurt to accompany

scalding coffee, hot and cold waking her


with routines as predictable as the scores arranged

on her 1906 piano. Toward the bottom, she wrote

how to reverse it all and make her way to bed

how not to watch the clock but wait until the end

of the last Western, dust drifting from the black

stallion galloping free into the hills the way she drives


backroads, puts in parentheses her detours

to listen to frogs, maybe see a heron at the low-water

how city after city she’s found abandoned bridges

dirt paths where she can commune with what

she can’t name, but writes down anyway as she sets

about printing The Recipe on a 4 x 6 taped above


her mirror, inside a kitchen cupboard. Unique ingredients

combined to form what holds her together. Dry times

sifted through, wet/tears mixed in, the highs and lows

a chemistry beyond her ability to control, and yet

she is proud of this single page that holds so much

these few lines framing her own moveable feast.