Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Save the Villi!

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
~Ann Wigmore

Here's the last poem of my National Poetry Month project, Things I Wish You Knew. I'll share all the links on Friday.


In the days when Daniel felt bad
but didn't know why,
he ate
whatever he wanted.

Eating whatever you want
sounds better than being
very very careful,
but he likes it better now.

Before, Daniel was like a runner
who moved his legs the way runners do,
but his body stayed in place.
Running running running...

but not getting anywhere.

Before, his insides were a
mystery to him. He didn't know
that every time he ate a particular
kind of food, his immune system

attacked little parts of his gut
that help food give you energy,
and all the other things
food does for you.

So instead of his food giving him energy,
it made him tired. He didn't know
what was going on, but he felt it.
Every day it got worse.

Until finally a doctor ran tests
and realized Daniel had celiac,
and his villi needed

(villi are the parts of his gut
that were being attacked)
The only thing that would
save his villi

so his food could do its job,
was to stop eating things
that made his body

That meant he had to stop
eating gluten,
which is in wheat, rye, and barley.
Rye and barley aren't too hard to avoid,

but wheat is everywhere!
Cakes, pies, bagels, muffins,
crackers, cookies, bread, pasta,
the list is long...

Fortunately for Daniel,
you can still have cakes, pies
and all those things,
IF they are made from gluten-free flour.

So now his villi feel better
and his food does what it should.
These days, he's a runner
who can speed ahead!

-Tabatha Yeatts


* Beyond Celiac shares fast facts about celiac.
* Jenny Levine Finke answers 12 Questions About Celiac Disease I’m Asked Most
* Resources for people who have recently been diagnosed with celiac

1 comment:

Linda B said...

You managed to share a good story with information for kids in a positive way. It feels like it's a better time for those who need gluten-free foods, at least I see groceries with many gluten-free choices which I imagine helps. I had a second cousin long ago who needed this and I remember his wife grinding rice on her own so she could bake for him. It was a challenge! Thanks, Tabatha, I love the positive ending, too!