Hour 9: Bittersweet

When I was a child,

playing in the backyard

the air smelled of cookies

from the factory to the east

I thought of tiny Keebler elves hard at work


I never thought to ask

if the elves received benefits,

PTO, or if they were unionized


I was a child then

all I could smell was the sweetness

of chocolate chips heavy

in the muggy Virginia heat


Until the winds shifted course,

and the confectionary incense rescinded,

voided by a swift, sour

olfactory dissonance

sweeping in, wretchedly,

from the nearby landfill


This early lesson

in impermanence

demonstrated acutely

that life is bittersweet

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