A humble ode to Bay Area classic in sticky situation 

Get the lead out: Red Vines are tasty, but toss out black twists with a 02-04-13 expiration date.
  • Get the lead out: Red Vines are tasty, but toss out black twists with a 02-04-13 expiration date.

“Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer, today warned consumers not to eat Red Vines® Black Licorice Twists candy, ‘Best Before’ 020413, after tests conducted by CDPH found the products contained levels of lead that exceeded the state’s standards. Consumers in possession of the candy should discard it immediately. ... Red Vines® Black Licorice Twists candy is manufactured and distributed by American Licorice Co., Union City, California. American Licorice Co. has initiated a voluntary recall of the affected lot.”
— Aug. 22 news release

Throw me away? Like some carbonized serpent,
Proffering fruits your Lord has despised,
Coiled around a limb in this Garden,
Poisoning you with secrets and lies?

Know that I hail from old Union City,
Land of broad shoulders, and even a Walmart.
Cul-de-sacs bloom there. Their petals are pretty.
Their tract homes will quicken a young maiden’s heart.

There I was fashioned, my sugar was rendered;
I had but one thought, and that thought was to please.
Now some department has made me surrender,
Likening me to some dread disease.

But I and my kin were part of your childhood;
You gnawed on our stalks, and your teeth were stained black.
My sucrose gave a pizzazz to your mood,
And gave you the uppitiness to talk back.

What, after all, is 13.2 micrograms?
What is a little lead between friends?
Your sons and your daughters get worse on their hands,
And anyway, we’ll all be dust in the end.

But no, I am taken. I’m shunted apace.
My spot on the store shelf is barren and grim.
I’m off to the landfill, but take this as grace,
Instead of amped-up, you’ll be slim.

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