Lawrence Beck

Our Bargain

One eats his lettuce, then his beef,
And rues the way they've come to him,
The lethal means which keep him living,
Even as the world dies. The lettuce is
From Mexico, its poison-coated leaves
From poisoned soil, picked by poisoned
Hands, and packed in cartons, made of
Paper, stewed of chips of forest trees,
And shipped across a thousand miles
On a truck of metal, made from
Mined and melted ores, and fueled
By petroleum. The earth is gouged
And drilled and heated, strangled,
For this leaf one man will place upon
His plate. The beef is poisoned, too,
He knows, and comes to him from
Far away, and comes by means
Which kill the planet. Is there nothing
Near to eat? It seems there isn't.
Little grows among the blocks of
Buildings filled with other mouths
And other plates, and, thus, he chews
Upon a truth: there once were nearby
Things to eat, sometimes, but, sometimes,
There were not, and fewer mouths
Called out for them, and droughts
And famines were not rare, so, now,
He and the others eating choose to
Keep themselves alive by means
Which almost certainly are
Hastening their deaths.

Submitted: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Edited: Monday, March 31, 2014

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