Call Another Time

A Poem by Gary Beck

I kissed the rosey cheek of death
before he could prevent me.
He glared at my impertinence.
No sentimental outbursts please.
I do my job without display,
in sleepless hours night and day.
I would go mad from mankind’s whines
if they felt I could be moved
by affectionate imploring.
I laughed at his indignant ire.
Feared quencher of the spirits fire,
I kissed you as I’d greet
a kinsman who I’d meet
on rare occasion for a solemn fete,
to mourn, or laugh and celebrate.
But I have come for you, he said.
Yet I fear you are mistaken….
I’ve hardly started to awaken.
I’ll show you out this way.
We’ll talk again another day,
when I have time.
But my job….
Please call again, but not too soon
and please, not in the afternoon.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has published chapbooks,  novels, and his short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City. To read more go to

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