Food For Thought

She hid it

but it became clear to her

even as a child

she was obsessed with food-

all the world and her relationships in it-

became things to be tasted;


In her twenties she did not date men

she tasted them

and became bored

with them as one becomes

bored with the routine

of every day the same meal;

food was orgasmic to her

in its variety

but too,

this was something she had to hide

because being that way also

had its guilty side;

all day long

she thought about what she would eat

that night

and the next day

or even reliving

a last meal

re-tasting it in her mouth

it all seemed natural to her

because it seemed to her

others seemed to share as well

foods power.

It was a need to take

the outside in

to feel it in her mouth

swallow it down

tongue on texture

then a final act

of it resting inside her

as she digested it,

sometimes bulimically

to assuage guilt

it being hidden heavings

in bathrooms, hers and those

of her friends

but always returning

to the need to fill up the Empty

to feel full


to make it through some nights


to assuage grief

sometimes to celebrate

often late at night secret eating

munching, ingesting

taking in

gorging on

cake and ice cream


and potato chips

even beer

or liqueur

with exotic

items like mangos

and papayas

all carefully laid out before her

because she liked the ritual of it

the handing

the smells

the preparations and the cooking;

fork and spoon lifting high

to the altar of her mouth

to her wide lips

resting briefly upon her fiery tongue

to the savoring

the plunging onward

into the alimentary canal

to its final

warm resting place


And then the guilt

always the guilt

about what she had done

then on to the next day obsession about her weight

the battle of the bulge

of the unwanted thickening sure to come

of the terrifying knowledge

her eating at night

it would show up

decorating her waist line

her hips,

her thighs

crime and punishment come alive

visible for all to see.

She reveled in her pregnancy

eating herself

to 51 additional pounds

and not losing all of them back

despite furious exercise;

ultimately welcoming mother hood

because cooking for her kids kept her in touch

with food

and after all

no mother

was expected to be thin;

and then escalator down

she gradually gave up

food had won

and she knew

that with advancing age

she could not lose back the years.

In despair, kids and husband now gone

she decided that it was not the food she'd been carving

all those years

rather it was a feeling of being filled up

being loved

food was just a poor substitute

And dear reader you ask what then?

She fell in love with a younger man

half her age

and he reciprocated.

the excitement of his loving her

made her feel for the first time in years


and gradually over a year

she lost the need for food
as a crutch.

More and more it became

for her a thing past.

Oh she did not suddenly become a size two

but she did become a better her

more energy

and she needed that energy

becoming more and more thrilled

with whom she then was.

And yes, the two did last;

food not so much exiled

as becoming for her

only a once over-indulged
from her past.

by Lonnie Hicks

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