Tag Archives: mortality

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.”
“But…..”
“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: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, poetry

Of Death and Coffee

by Mel Glenn (Brooklyn, NY)

So, three older Jewish guys

are sitting around a table

at an older Jewish restaurant

talking about death.

It’s the subject of some worried inquiry

as all three approach the finish line.

“Jews don’t believe in heaven,” says the first man.

“Your soul lives on after you,” says the next.

“Perhaps,” says the third, “the big surprise

is there is absolutely nothing – gornisht.”

“You mean this is all there is?” the first one asks.

“Could be,” replies the second.

“Maybe it’s like this,” the third man says,

“just ten minutes before you die,

you get a message, like an e-mail, from God,

telling you exactly what’s gonna happen.”

“That would be nice,” the first man agrees.

The three men stare into their coffees,

each one contemplating his own mortality,

together as friends facing the dreadful uncertainty.

“Same time next week?”

“God willing.”

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: http://www.melglenn.com/

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Filed under American Jewry, Jewish identity, Jewish writing, poetry