Six Syllables, Two Words

When the doctor told me my diagnosis,
I measured the syllables in each word
Bi-po-lar Dis-or-der
Six syllables, two words

Stars shattered
across the blue of my eyes
and my hands clasped in prayer

Now I say this language over and over
Over and over
The long o
An utterance of air
Breathe out, breathe out
Bi-po-lar Dis-or-der

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About the Author

Sallie Crotty has published many places, including The Dairy Hollow Echo; The Drabble; eMerge; and Resources to Recover. The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow awarded her a residency in 2018. Sallie holds a B.A. in English from Sewanee: The University of the South, an Ed.M. from Harvard, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. She is working on a poetry collection, and her memoir Out of the Ashes: A Story of Recovery and Hope was published in 2022.