A Cautionary Ghazal Concerning Food Poisoning
By Dustin Weber
I made myself a sandwich just the other day,
Didn’t sniff the meat to make sure it was okay.
I didn’t check the expiration date, either,
Taking for granted that it would still be okay.
Even after I toasted the thing and ate it
In its entirety, it still tasted okay.
Hours later, though, the salmonella kicked in, and
I had to lie down, feeling quite far from okay.
My head ached, my forehead burned, my gut twinged and churned,
I wanted to—but couldn’t—sleep…yeah…not okay…
And I drooled like a rabid dog, so I made a
Beeline to the bathroom, and I made it okay.
My leaning o’er the toilet’s another tale, though:
Wretch! Heave! Ralph! Puke! Then, my throat was far from okay.
Raspy as all else it was, even as I scoured
The toilet bowl thoroughly. No…still not okay.
Even after washing my soiled hands and soured mouth
And gargling my parched throat clean, I wasn’t okay.
It wasn’t after a long nap followed by a
Light, hot breakfast that night that I then felt okay.
Since then, I’ve been coming back slowly but surely,
Lucky that I was able to come out okay,
Considering the thousands of people who die
Yearly and the thousands more who aren’t quite okay
And end up in the hospital annually.
Compared to those poor folks, I turned out quite okay.
Still, I learned my lesson and have vowed to be more
Alert to see if the food I eat is okay,
Lest I want to endure more pain and grief as I
Had when I ate that toxic meat. Yeah…not okay.
Learn my lesson, too, friends, and prepare with caution
Your food, lest you want to end up less than okay.
Wash your hands, check your dates, smell your food, and use your
Judgment to determine if your food is okay.
Otherwise, you’ll end up compromising your gut
And end up at great risk…and that’s never okay.