“Wake-Up Call” by Alan C. Fox

Alan C. Fox


The old man who fell asleep
on his living room chair
in the middle of the night
heard knocking at his door.

He stumbled, in his underwear,
to the door and opened it
to stop the loud knocking
of two policemen in uniform.

“The neighbors are complaining
that your alarm goes off
at all hours of the night.”
The man was my father,

standing in his underwear,
in his own living room,
at 102 years old, hearing,
“Show us your photo ID.”

“Officer, this is my house.”
“Sir, we need to see your photo ID.
Some burglars take their clothes off
To make us think they own the place.”

from Rattle #56, Summer 2017


Alan C. Fox: “When my father proudly told a friend that I publish a poetry journal, his friend was concerned. ‘Can your son make a living doing that?’ I don’t exactly make a living by publishing Rattle, but I do make a better life—my own and, hopefully, many others.” (website)

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