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Lisa’s Recipe for Health

In a letter long ago (when people

often wrote letters), Lisa reminded

me (the way a good friend will)

of what I needed to stay healthy.

She said,

You deserve good novels, cool

drinks, and late-night conversations.

Lisa knew I loved to read, stay up

all night talking. But Lisa also realized

that I’m like a camel, and should drink

a long, tall glass of something cool.

Remember, you’re an inside person,

and you must be coaxed outside,

with cheerful words and music,

light and air, for healing to begin.

Lisa understood a fellow mind-dweller,

who craves wandering down the aisles

of a used bookstore, with that unique

smell, but who cannot forget to always

reconnect with the earth, put her hands

into soil, putter in a garden, go for a walk,

hike gentle mountain trails, or take a drive

along the rugged coastlines of the Salish Sea.

Lisa gave it to me straight:

Movement is your guardian angel—

Burke-Gilman bicycle rides, Green Lake

strolls and Shilshole Bay wading, Arboretum

meandering, and Discovery Park rambling.

Never forget to live beyond your

means but within your dreams.


Alison Jennings is a Seattle-based poet who began submitting her work after retiring from school teaching and the business world. Recently, she has been published in over a dozen journals, online and in print. Please visit her website at for details of published poems.



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