One night the ceiling opened and I rose up slowly;
Above my house I twisted round, looked down and back
On Nedro Avenue, B Street, and the Heintz factory;
Black smoke billowed from a gaping maw-like stack,
Smoke enveloped me and all was dark;
Like a dead cinder upward I floated and spinned:
I called to God for light, a tiny spark:
He did not answer. The reason? I had sinned.
For fifteen years I stared at the night within my head
And then at last I slept for another fifteen,
Till I awoke firmly bound to a clean white bed.
It’s been several days and now the bed is not so clean,
And neither am I; each night I watch the ceiling yawn,
But I am well-strapped in: I await the dawn.
(For links to other poems from Arnold Schnabel, some as scary but none of them scarier, and to the various chapters of our ongoing serialization of his previously unpublished memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, check the right hand column of this page.)
Never marry a railroad man...