Lynne Meredith Cohn

Recipe for a Good Life

Three cups sugar, pine nuts, salt

We slept in a braid of arms and bare legs.
Last night, the winter ghost banged
against the storm windows
like an egg cracked open on a glass bowl
like a bell.

Carp, whitefish, pick out the bones.
Knead into little fistful balls of fish.
Serve with steamed carrots.

We made love in the shadow
of one lit candle, the flame skipping
in rhythm with your fingers.

Nutmeg, cinnamon, a dash of vanilla.
Taste. Boil for a hour.
You'll know when it's done.

We sat on a porch swing once
after carving an indifferent smile
into a pumpkin, after you gave me orange tulips.
The swing groaned like an old man
breathing in gulps of autumn air
and remembering too many years.

Garnish with parley.
Serve on a plate of greens.
Eat with a fork, dipping each bite
into red horseradish.
Refrigerate the leftovers.

The room shook with cold last night,
air sneaking in
as if to separate into an open slit.
Your grandmother's quilt piled over three wool blankets.
And snow fell outside the window,
on trees with black branches.

Copyright 1996, Lynne Meredith Cohn

Lynne Meredith Cohn is a journalist in Detroit. She has written for publications such as Bridges,
Fodderwing, New York Newsday
, and Woman's Own. She received her M.F.A. in Creative
Writing from Goddard College. "Recipe for a Good Life" was reprinted with permission of the
author from her book, Driving off the Horizon (IM Press, 1996).

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