Michael Cantor poetry

 

 

poems






For Harry, Who Had Three Passports

 

I knew a man, who had a man, who knew
a man inside the Ministry.  He said
his man was just the man to see you through

whatever difficulties might ensue
in sorting out the living from the dead.
I knew a man who knew a man.  Who knew,

back then, what Harry really knew, or who 
he’d ever helped, or who got screwed instead?
He was the kind of man who’d see you through

his pale blue eyes, and sense at once what you
most feared — and what you’d pay to ease your dread —
to meet a man who knew the man who knew.

I’m just a businessman, he’d say, a Jew
without a tribe — and raise his gleaming head —
but you can trust my man to see you through.

When others raged, he quietly withdrew,
and we all left, but Harry never fled:
he knew a man, who knew a man, who knew
the man who was the man to see you through.

 

First published in Margie