Are My Emotions Real?
Is it true, as I self report,
that I am repelled
In that moment,
Bending near the ground,
When I discover that the turd in the poo bag,
Reducing the heat of my hand,
Is not the one freshly expelled
By my faithful hound,
But the shit some other dog has left lying around?
Why do I start to gag?
Either I am revolted by faeces or I’m not,
Cool or hot,
I would have thought.
Is this a subject for a thesis or dissertation?
Would I still feel queasy
If the ‘wrong dog’s’ excrement
Was warm? Am I simply disgusted
By taking hold of something cold?
Or is this conclusion too easy?
Should I conduct an experiment,
Launch an investigation?
Is my response adaptive or encoded,
Do I feel this way, because of my DNA?
Is it an instinct protecting me from harm?
Which questions might be loaded?
“What kind of bond
Makes one respond
To the motions passed by one’s own Alsatian
With equanimity and calm?”
Could one set out to deceive
By pretending all the mess
Dog owners were asked to collect
Was from their own animal,
Or would it be better to forget the lies
And see if owners could detect
The particular qualities of their own pet’s faecal matter?
I think I prefer the latter.
Would other physiological responses
Reveal the truth, serve as validation?
Or is all this emotion just imagination?