Deliveries (orig. Eugen Roth, “Besorgungen”)

A man goes out one morning, late,
Suspecting not the hand of Fate,
And hurries into town, where he’s
To make the day’s deliveries.
But Fate soon fires her first attack:
A sign proclaiming, “Be Right Back”.
“Right back” is rather vague at best,
And so the man resumes his quest
And meets, at number two, the porter:
“Oh, she just left, you almost caught her…”
At number three a friend relays:
“They won’t be back for seven days!”
At number four, the CEO
Turns out to be in Tokyo;
An overcrowded waiting room
At number five spreads doom and gloom,
And at the sixth, what does he find?
He’s left the paperwork behind.
Then number seven joins the queue:
“We’re closed for lunch from twelve ’til two!”
The man, enraged and fit to burst,
Goes back again to try the first
And nearly has a heart attack.
For there, it still says “Be Right Back”.


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