Warning Labels


What always makes people feel better? Poetry!

Well maybe not all people. Some prefer tea, or re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time, or watching a kickass movie. I love all of these things. You know what I don’t love? Being sick.

Not that anyone really enjoys being legit ill. Like go home from work after three hours of gut-wrenching agony ill, lying curled up in bed hoping for a medium-sized meteor to come screaming through your window to put you out of your misery ill. Or …whatever.

Poetry, then Doctor Who, to counterbalance my ickies! Here ’tis. I thought it was somewhat topical, as I have read a couple of warning labels today.

Warning Labels

For your own safety
Do not cross the tracks;
Or you’ll end like the chicken
A mangled pulp of blood and feathers
As it crossed the road.

Do not operate heavy machinery;
For one thing, this medication
Doesn’t come with a hard hat.

Motor vehicles prohibited!
Except for the ones the city uses
For repairs, and cutting the grass.

No smoking within ten metres of the door
You wretched nicotine addicts
Will just have to smoke in the middle
Of the street; you’re killing yourselves anyway,
Might as well be quick about it.

Life needs more warning signs.
For instance, children:
Side effects include headache,
Chronic money loss, muscle fatigue,
Insomnia, chest pain, and hoarseness.

Love ought to come with a warning label as well:
Dangerous to sanity if recommended dose is exceeded.
Or, side effects include dizziness, shortness of breath,
Elevated pulse, increased sex drive,
And in severe cases, mothers-in-law.

© Bridget Noonan, 2010, 2011.

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6 Comments

Filed under Poetry

6 responses to “Warning Labels

  1. Bee, the last line just killed me!

    Nice progression through the warnings… then that penultimate line. Great style, good thought went into this. Thanks. Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/late-at-night-a-shadorma/

    • Hahaa yesssss. I was hoping to at least knock somebody over with that one. Don’t laugh so hard the tea comes out your nose though, because that’s really painful.

      Thanks for your kind comments as always, Amy!

  2. a scary but serious poem. i wonder when these warnings will be given to us.

    • It wasn’t meant to be scary, more satirical. I mean, there’s a medication for everything now, and I’m sure you’ve seen the ads where the list of side effects and warnings is longer than how long they talk about what it actually DOES.

      I’m of the opinion that there should be like a manual for kids though, rather than a warning label. “Feed them this, discipline is good, this is what you should expect around this time but all kids are different, please potty train before sending them to school, teach them respect for everyone including self”, that sort of thing.

      I liked your poem for 3WW though 🙂

  3. Great poem! And I completely agree with you on how over-medicated it seems the world (the U.S. in particular) has become. Great use of humor in there, too.

    And yes, children should come with operating manuals, like cars.

  4. Yeah, can’t escape the drugs even in the Great White North. In fact, I heard something about Americans buying our drugs online because they’re cheaper? I don’t know, it was a while ago.

    It’d have to be even thicker than the car manual, because quite frankly I don’t trust most people to know how to properly raise a toddler (babies are easy; they can’t go TOO far yet, and they’re kinda screechy when they want things so you’d find them even if they did crawl off), let alone shape one whole life from birth to adulthood into a reasonably well-adjusted human being.
    …though I got my car used, and couldn’t read the manual- I think the previous owner used it for mopping up the BP oil spill? The thing’s filthy, at any rate. That does not bode well for the sort of folks I wouldn’t trust with the care of a plant I didn’t particularly like.

    Thanks for the feedback! 😀

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