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Ethical Dilemma of the Dented Cans

Walking, walking, walking, walking,
Slower and slower and slower,
And s-l-o-w-e-r, 
And s-s-l-l-o-o-w-e-r still.
Barely moving...
Eyes shut tight...
Footsteps weaving...
Intestines heaving...
Racked by Hunger and Thirst,
Thirst and Hunger, Hunger and Thirst:
Woe is He and He is Woe;
He'll die of Starvation,
Unless his throat cracks first...

...Lost in a desert of endless sand,
So many poets choose to end
Such a tale without taking a stand,
By terminating the protagonist's digestive gland.
Perhaps they're not clever,
Perhaps they're 'old school;'
Ho, ho! Not me. I don't follow the rules...

Now back to our poem, of which you're in the midst,
Lost in that desert,
When a snake hissed,
And looking down on the ground,
Our protagonist found,
Two dented cans staring up at him
Of Albacore Tuna, 'Starkist' no less,
With a pop-top opener---unexpected largesse.

O, ecstasy and agony rolled into one:
There lay salvation, right on the ground,
But for the USDA warning that made his head pound.
   You must never a dented can automatically trust,
   Check instead for bulging or bloating, for spraying or rust;
   A sign of bacteria---which into your system may bust. 

O, exquisite torture! What to do now?
Examine those two dented cans?
Or down the contents, warning be damned!
The body says one thing; the soul another
...So, decide for yourself, dear reader,
What he would do, if he were you.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

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