What if? The Defeat of the Rising Dread

What if 
eight-years-old again
playing soccer.
Sweaty and red-faced.
Eating orange crackers 
with cheese. 
Can I eat orange crackers
with cheese
The rising dread says 
not healthy.

What if 
nine-years-old again
running outside 
to Nawney’s
prehistoric freezer 
after dinner. 
Selecting a Blue Bell ice cream 
pint and running back 
into her house, 
digging in with a spoon 
enjoying every morsel.
And today? 
The rising dread says 
eat out of the pint 
and lose control. 

What if 
ten-years-old again
feeling excited for poptarts.
The crinkly noise as I peel packaging off,
place the treats in the toaster, 
bite into their crunchy crust, 
burning my tongue on the jam.
Will I bite into
poptarts today? 
The rising dread says
stay clear.

What if
chocolate milk cartons
fried popcorn shrimp
blueberry cheesecake muffins
Chicago-style stuffed crust pizza
were no longer

What if 
twenty-one-years-old now
food had no 

What if
I instead listen
to truth

and defeat
the rising dread?

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