“They’re Taking Chocolate Milk Off the Menu” by Kim Dower

and that’s only the beginning.
I hear other junk food is at risk:
brownies, pastries, name it,
they’re removing it, the only chance
fifth graders have at happiness.
The only thing I looked forward to
was chocolate milk, especially after
getting yelled at by Miss Paniotoo.
I once poured a carton over her “in”
box, watched the ink bleed down
the equation-filled pages, blurring
the names of my classmates,
never told anyone, not even Donna Nagy,
and now they’re taking it off the menu.
What will our kids be forced to do?
Will they devour each other?
Eat one another’s faces, run across
the handball court sword fighting
with dry straws, wasted with desire?
Word just in they’re even removing
strawberry milk. We never had that.
I’m sure it didn’t smell like the chocolate:
a little sour like yesterday’s dessert.
We had to drink it before it turned,
when it was still cold enough
that even our mittens couldn’t protect us.

“They’re Taking Chocolate Milk Off the Menu,” by Kim Dower, from Slice of Moon. © Red Hen Press, 2013.