613463_poisonPoison gets featured quite regularly in classic tales, the ones that have survived for centuries and continue to be explored and retold. From fairy tales like Snow White to revered works like Hamlet, poison is the villain’s favorite way to get rid of someone inconvenient. These days, we don’t see poison in as many stories, but it still holds a certain fascination.

One aspect that’s often overlooked is that poison doesn’t have to be limited to ingested toxins that kill in a matter of hours. It can take many, many forms that work subtly over years or decades, from pesticides on our fruits and vegetables to chemicals leached from plastic bottles. And ideas can be poisonous, too: the notion that a person isn’t good enough, isn’t attractive enough, isn’t worthy enough.

Write a poem, scene or story that revolves around an unconventional application of poison. How does the problem finally get recognized, and does it claim any victims along the way?

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