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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Date: 1/10/2018 10:21:00 AM
Interesting dilemma! I guess if he really was starving he would take the risk, and eat the contents. If he was merely hungry he'd pass. Desperate times call for desperate measures! Ordinarily I'd never open a dented can, but...
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Gershon Wolf
Date: 1/10/2018 1:58:00 PM
Thanks for the comment!....Interestingly, when I wrote this, it was with a "Jack Benny approach," tongue firmly in cheek. Btw: I am a big fan of your poems. So, it means a lot to me when you comment on my efforts. Thanks again!