Warning Label

What if every child came into the world with a warning label,
with the warning that their birthday would also be their death day?
Would life be different?
Would death?

Would parents keep vigil over their newborn
until “the crisis had passed,”
and not worry again until the next?

Would the tying of loose ends start a day before,
a week before,
or even an hour before—
(the last for all those fine young procrastinators)?

Would weddings be coordinated according to an uncertain calendar?
Would women try to conceive their children at least eleven months
before their own birthday,
so that they wouldn’t die while pregnant?

Would people live it up on their birthday,
being as the inevitable would happen anyway,
or would recklessness run rampant on the other days,
knowing that nothing they did would kill them,
but only maim?

Would some throw parties
to get all their family and friends near
for what had once been a trivial holiday,
except among children?

Or would such parties be held the day after,
when another 364 days were guaranteed,
or the day before,
in case there would be no day after tomorrow?

Would birthdays be celebrated,
or dreaded?

Or would this manner of living become a way of life,
like the Israelis and the bombs?
For humans in this New Era were a shining brilliance
in their adaptability to change.

2 thoughts on “Warning Label

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