Poems You Can Eat: Peristalsis

by Stephani Cook



Warning: This poem has not been tested for fiber content. Read at your own risk. Poem should be read with water, 30 minutes after eating.

I knew I should have been more discerning,
The texture of it was plenty concerning.
The smell in itself, a rude premonition
But I certify still that it was delicious.

Later glued to the toilet bowl
I felt a fool, as though I could have known.
I solemnly swore between every flush
To beware every future lunch.

Fie on you, kimchi fried rice,
You got me once, but you’ll not get me twice.
A memorable peristaltic event
Arrived in one cataclysmic torrent.

Such an array, emerged from my stern
With an insidious hydrochloric burn.
Trapped in a den of odiferous fumes
The kind born of ingesting ample legumes.

I cringed, but I bore it, for what could I do?
I’d simply refuse, forever, to poo.

For four days soft foods filled my plates,
Slowing my digestion rate.
Frankly this new iteration
Felt a lot like constipation.

I blithely ignored all my functions
Cultivating an obstruction.
Luckily a friendly prescriber
Dosed me with some soluble fiber.

A stew of barley and black beans
Studded with pockets of braised greens!
A movement I could not avoid,
Heaven-sent and full of joy!

After which I knew all too well
That familiar gastrointestinal swell,
The pleasure of eating a fiber-rich diet, and
The woe that comes of bowels that won’t quiet.

Stephani Cook is an FPAN second year that suffers from a shellfish allergy. She spends her free time testing her cooking talents on the palates of her roommates, friends and willing diners. Read more about her on our Meet Our Writers page.

The Friedman Sprout is a monthly student run newspaper that aims to serve the student population at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, prospective students, and alumni. Our mission is to report on newsworthy information that affects the Friedman community including nutrition research, food policy, internship and volunteer opportunities, as well as school events. Our editorial slant is that of sustainability in food and nutrition.

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