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Between what the surgeon general
has determined about cigarette smoking
and what I have determined about war,
it's obvious that the health of humanity
has little hope of escaping
diseased danger.
Anyone who smokes cigarettes
fights in wars
is much better off
than those who smoke cigarettes
fight in wars.

It's only logical that
a war-fighting-cigarette-smoker
has two determined dangers dangling
over his health's head.
He may contract cancer
at the same time
a bullet finds him.
he may be shot
at the instant
he contracts cancer.
His medical bill
will include debts
to two doctors
and his insurance company
will release his policy and,
place him in debt.
And loan companies
will consider him
too great a risk and,
if he doesn't die,
he'll be placed in prison
for a long-term sentence.

Very shortly after that,
he will be released on parole
and placed on some state's correctional program.
They'll put him to work
sweeping up the streets of his home town
and pay him a wage
of five dollars, fifteen cents an hour.

a super highway
will soil his swept streets and the state
will place him on the welfare rolls
where people will call him a lazy,
good-for-nothing bum.
receiving two-hundred dollars a week,
he will be thrown out of his home
and arrested for vagrancy.
At his trial,
the presiding judge
will tell him he had his chance
and tell him that he has to spend
his life in jail.

In jail,
one night,
he'll take his belt
and strap it around the pipe
which crosses the ceiling of his cell.
He will place his head
through a loop he'll form
with the belt and,
resting his neck on the strong leather,
he will choke himself to death.

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Then, somebody will whisper while
at his funeral,
"It served him right.
He was no good
and deserved what he got."

if you find yourself invited
by someone who lies
when he says that,
in order to sit at his table,
you have got to eat
his stale and sour
filthy feast of fighting for freedom
(when what he really means
is for you
to protect his warped mind
with your life),
you accept,
then refrain from
smoking cigarettes
and if you are smoking cigarettes,
then refrain
from getting invited
to any wars.


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Michael Bonanno is an associate editor for OpEdNews.

He is also a published poet, essayist and musician who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Bonanno is a political progressive, not a Democratic Party apologist. He believes it's (more...)

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