Saturday, April 7, 2007

Just another day in the life of Arnold Schnabel

Here's another classic Arnold Schnabel poem. (Reprinted by permission of the Arnold Schnabel Society.)

"Dead Man's Hill"

I heard the joyful shrieking from Dead Man’s Hill
And saw the children each on his or her own sled,
But then a silence fell with a deafening chill:
Followed by a tiny shout: “He’s dead! Jimmy’s dead!”

Clambering through the bushes and stumbling I spied
At the frozen foot of the gulch a small crumpled form,
And all around it surged a multicolored jabbering swarm,
Each child eager and yet fearful to see the boy who’d died.

Throwing myself down that icy fearful slope,
I slid and rolled and tumbled and finally crashed
Into the midst of the youngsters who, bereft of hope,
Stared wide-eyed at the little body, lifeless, smashed.

Quick as a shot I threw myself upon the lad --
For I had taken a class and was certified in CPR --
And just as quick a small hard fist struck me like a car:
“Get offa me mister, or I’ll tell my dad!”

“Hoorah!” cried all, for Jimmy was not dead,
Merely knocked for a loop on Dead Man’s Hill;
Not death’s embrace but a mere bump on the head
The result of his descent and unfatal spill.

And so with bloodied nose and bemuséd heart I made away
First to St. Helena’s Church to see my patient confessor
(As was my wont on each and every Saturday),
And thence to the Fern Rock, to see “The Nutty Professor”.

(For other Arnold Schnabel poems, and for selections from his memoir Railroad Train to Heaven, please see the right hand column of this page.)


brianD said...

Dan, not certain how I stumbled opn your site (this internet thing is interestig. It might catch on) I enjoyed the pic of the Fern Rock and was surprised how quickly the memories came back. Every Saturday we took the trolly from 5th and Somerville up to the theatre. I recall so many afternoons sitting with eyes transfixed, never mssing a moment of 'House on Haunted Hill"
I'll stp back often to see if your blog can stir more memories

Dan Leo said...

Hey, Brian, glad you dug it. I too had so many rich afternoons and evenings at the Fern Rock.