Paul held a package of dates
he purchased at the store.


He trusted the green label.

As far as he knew
forced child labor picked the dates from the street
where palms lined the boulevard
in a foreign city.

The fact that someone picked them
implied they were second-hand dates.

He wondered if the pickers washed their hands first.

He assumed the pitting was done
by an automated machine.

The same with the packing company.

The idea these might be fourth or fifth hand dates
bothered him.

When he cracked the seal
and opened the package
he pushed the container toward me.

copyright © 2022 Kenneth P. Gurney

One thought on “Manners

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