Frankie's Shinbone - Poem by Herbert Nehrlich
Frank was the one who always would
be first and do wild things
and when you asked him if he could
fly with the bird that sings
or dive in under foot thick ice
jump into violent seas
he was the toughest of us guys
by ninety-nine degrees.
On Sunday mornings we would go
to Muller's Railway Crossing
and put on our favourite show
it beat the daily flossing.
Our parents were so bloomin strict
they had a thousand rules
though inside our chests, there ticked
a heart not made for fools.
The game was CHICKEN and you had
to dive across the tracks
like someone who is raving mad
or one who, sadly, lacks
a normal brain with common sense
and some kind of protection
yet we would line up at the fence
avoiding thus detection.
The Ten-O-Four would pass right through
it did not have to stop
the twelve-Sixteen, E-5, it flew
180 was its top.
The last one just before our lunch
would amble in at one
that one was slow and all our bunch
had one big ball of fun.
Things went okay and we were high
and no one ever fell
when Frankie, our toughest guy
went when he heard the bell
it was too late, we all got sick
his leg stayed on the track
if he had hurried just a tick
he would have made it back
with both his legs and not passed out
and bleeding like a pig
the Stationmaster, big and stout
got out his giant rig
a truck that ran on wooden fuel
he fired it at speed
and said that in a silly duel
the train would win indeed.
The doctor saved old Frankie's skin
now fifty years have passed
that day when he did lose his shin
its memory will last.
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