The Call

comes when you are waiting
for the shower and disinfection,

and when you reach the bottom of the sink
without clothes, shoes, or even hair. 

The call comes when you are baptized 
with a number. The numbers told everything.

For they told the world, in particular, how you
refused to let yourself live without its sorrow.

A blessing that comes when you refuse to hear it.

On some mornings it comes in the form of an uncut orange 
on the table in the dining room. An offering from Mother Earth. 

A gift from the ground. The way cherry blossoms belong
to the world once a year.  

*This poem was inspired by the eternal testimony of Primo Levi

George Cassidy Payne is a poet from Rochester, NY. His work has been included in such publications as the Hazmat ReviewMoria Poetry JournalChronogram JournalAmpersand Literary ReviewThe Angle at St. John Fisher College, and 3:16 Journal. George’s blogs, essays and letters have appeared in USA TodayThe Wall Street JournalThe AtlanticHavana TimesSouth China Morning PostThe Buffalo News, and more. 

See all his poems on Tea House here.

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