Gentleman Caller

By Elton Glaser 

So this is death come walking, looking mighty fine,
Him with a firm stride and a dragon-headed cane,
Dandy with diamonds in his smile, all howdy-do
And sweet potato pie, him strutting right up
To your own front door, that big stick knocking
On the frame and tapping his spats, making
The neighbors stare and the dogs back down,
Him idling under the hum of the porch light,
Spreading his shine wherever he pleases, sounding
A little cocky when he calls your name—

And what’s your mama gonna do about that?

Elton Glaser, a native of New Orleans, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Akron, where he also directed the University of Akron Press and edited the Akron Series in Poetry. Glaser has published eight fulllength collections of poetry, most recently The Law of Falling Bodies (Arkansas, 2013) and Translations from the Flesh (Pittsburgh, 2013).

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