Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Can You Dig It?
Before recycling was a word anybody knew
There were these two models,
One quizzical gal lugging multitudes of bottles
The other, all peppy blonde élan
Tossing can after can after steel can
Smilingly, and as a matter of course,
Without even bothering to remove the straws.
Orange soda or grape, or some fruity hybrid quite undrinkable
Whatever came in a can, it was unthinkable
To save it in a box or bag or closet
Because unlike bottles there was no deposit
And Bethlehem Steel encouraged us to toss
Their cans and then buy more and more, of course;
Steel cans made into flotsam and also jetsam*
So folks would run back to the store to get some.
How strange to see them blithely throw away
A bunch of cans and then just go away
But then so much was not yet true
Back in 1962.
*Did you know that flotsam and jetsam are (aside from being terms for odds and ends of stuff) real nautical terms for specific kinds of wreckage? Flotsam is floating wreckage and jetsam is stuff that was thrown or jettisoned off the ship.