The Call

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

Preface to a Poem:

In the Bible long ago,
Samuel heard a voice calling his name.
He thought it was Eli, the High Priest of Shiloh.
But it was not him. It was the Lord.
Who shall listen when his name is called?
Who will go quietly, and who will object?
Mortality is such a fragile thing.

So, I am trying to fall asleep
when I hear a voice saying,
“Wake up, Mel, it’s time you joined me.”
“What? Do you know what time it is?”
“Irrelevant. You are called.”
“To what?”
“To me.”
“Who are you?”
“Isn’t it obvious, even to you?”
“I need to see some I.D.”
“That won’t be necessary, you know who I am.”
“Yes, I know, but now?”
“It’s an honor to be called.”
“I don’t think I’m ready.”
“Take a few minutes. I’ve got all day.”
“Do I have to listen?”
“Eventually, yes, but you still have some time.”
“How much?”
“I can’t tell you that.”
“But there is so much I haven’t done yet.”
“You should have thought about that earlier.”
“I thought I had a lot more years.”
“Not your call, I’m afraid. It’s not that bad, really.
You won’t feel a thing, trust me.”
“But I have to get my affairs in order.”
“Doesn’t matter, others will carry on for you.
If you’re lucky some people may remember you,
with affection, I might add.”
“There are no ‘buts,’ sorry. Are you ready now?”

Postscript to a Poem:

And in the end, I, like poet George Herbert,
declare: “Methought I heard one calling ‘Child!’
And I replied, ‘My Lord.’”

The author of twelve books for young adults, Mel Glenn has lived nearly all his life in Brooklyn, NY, where he taught English at A. Lincoln High School for thirty-one years. Lately, he’s been writing poetry, and you can find his most recent poems in the YA anthology, This Family Is Driving Me Crazy, edited by M. Jerry Weiss.

If you’d like to learn more about his work, visit:

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Filed under American Jewry, poetry

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