He scrubbed his hands, and hoped
this would protect him from disease.
He wore bee-keeper's garb
to ward off ticks, mosquitos, fleas.
He ate organic foods
to hold the pesticides at bay.
He traveled after dark
to keep the skin cancers away.
He only touched his kids
with latex gloves upon his hands,
and this between the times
when he was checking lumps and glands.
Alas, one day his schnoz was
stuffed up—tight as corked champagne.
He grabbed a sterile cloth
and blew a clangorous refrain.
But nothing came, and so
he plunged a finger deep with hope,
and fished around until
he found what seemed to be a rope.
He pulled the end out, used
both hands to coil it on the floor.
He kept on pulling—what he got
was more and more and more.
And as the pile grew big,
he started shrinking, at first slow,
then faster, until most of him
lay in a heap below.
With one last yank, the end
came out. His daughter later said:
"One second, there was Dad—
the next, a pile of mucus, dead."
So, if you have a fear
of bugs, sun, germs and tumor's blight—
and if the camphor burns
lest critters swallow you at night—
Remember that the plague
has much less chance to bring you woes
than if you are a snot
and stick your finger up your nose.