Bargain Basement

The package waited
as patiently as it could
for my blade to tear into it.
There they were:
ammunition cans
"Army surplus", they call it
as if such a thing exists--
cubical steel painted green
hinged tops with handles
rubber gaskets to keep the powder dry
yellow stenciled lettering and numbers
that I only halfway understood.
I unclasped a latch
heard the vacuum break, felt my money's worth
with blinded buyer's pride.

There were grains of sand inside.

I opened the other five
all to find the same:
foreign soil in the boxes
that once held bullets
hurled to save the lives
of the frightened kids nearby.

I checked for dents
checked for blood
checked the white receipt
neatly printed in a warehouse.

I'll be buying new next time.
It's worth the extra cash.

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