Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Train Kept A-Rollin'

An especially moving Arnold Schnabel sonnet, originally printed in the April 13, 1963 issue of "The Olney Times". (Through the very kind permission of the Arnold Schnabel Society. Nihil obstat, Cardinal Jack Dougherty.)


"Back on the Job"

My first day back on the job, and everyone was emotive:
“How are you Arnold, old boy?” “Welcome back, old Arnold.”
It felt good to mount again the mighty locomotive,
To feel the hurtling and jarring of every great carload.
And all went well, it all came back to me.
Now I walk home from the station, blessedly weary.
I pass the Green Parrot, and hear the cries 0f drinking men;
I would like a cold Schaefer, but the doctor said no,
That alcohol would interfere with my medicine.
And besides, Mother awaits with roast pork and potato.
Now I lie in bed, and the ceiling does not open.
But I fear to sleep, fear to dream, and fear to be awoken.
The factory hums. My heart beats. This night shall end.
Tomorrow will dawn. With lunch-pail in hand I will do it again.

(
For links to other workmanlike poems from Arnold Schnabel, and to the serialization of his previously unpublished and mammoth memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, check the right hand column of this page.)


2 comments:

kathleenmaher said...

Arnold's consistent voice and accepting heart sound especially beautiful, and moving, when his poems are interspersed with his amazing memoir.

Dan Leo said...

Awww...