The Visitor

I had met him before
But not personally
Now he was at my door
Most definitely.

At the most inopportune time
I heard the gentle tap
I was about to dine
So I just opened the flap.

I told him it was late
I wasn’t prepared that day
He said he’d checked the date
That was all he had to say.

I marveled at his timing
Didn’t matter I was dining
His head perceptively inclining
Inviting me to join him.

“Not now!” I insisted
My plea he simply resisted
And though I had persisted
Declared me then enlisted.

I called him an intruder
A rank and total outsider
Telling me what to do
Imposing on me his view.

Of all the things to interrupt
A man’s meal, his drink, his cup
Not even willing to delay
But on me forcing his way.

You’ve no say in the matter
Away with all the chatter
That time has finally come
Signed and sealed, it’s done.

Thought I would entertain him
A good meal to him I gave
Only to find I couldn’t win
His face was stern and grave.

I made another offer
Of someone who was old
He dismissed it as a bother
The night was getting cold.

With dread I tried again
To suggest another name
The drunkard up the street
Would make a better treat.

His head again he swayed
Much to my dismay
“Not the drunkard up the street
It’s you I must repeat.

Well I hoped he wouldn’t deny
If I took another try
That rapist up in prison
Why can’t his life be taken?

Again he shook his head
And then he gravely said
His time will come I am sure
But you must go before.

A glance at the long list
Revealed my name at top
Took a chance I dare not miss
But that became a flop.

Image result for images of a death list

Trying the order to bend
I wrote my name at the end
But the order he’d not forgotten
And started from the bottom

“It’s your time,” he reaffirmed
And your date I have confirmed
Doesn’t matter how you squirm
Tonight ends your earthly term.

No amount of pleading
Will see your time receding
Pay attention to my heeding
Follow me; I’ll do the leading.”

On all the other occasions
I had watched him function
And while expressing my sympathy
Still happy it wasn’t me.

Now my visit had come
Way past the setting sun
Light and life away they ebbed
Soon I’ll lay cold and dead.

Death the fairest equalizer
The most potent tranquilizer
An insensitive family divider
A most unwelcomed visitor.

Doesn’t matter where you are
Could be near or even far
Could be rich or even poor
He’ll walk right up to the door.

He called at mine today
How I wished I’d been away!
I could broker no delay
Now cold in the ground I lay.

Stewart Russell © 2014