Frankie's Shinbone

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.

by Herbert Nehrlich

Comments (4)

Oh herbert how sad, how we played such childish games we have all been there in sort of way. How it brings back memories.We all had bikes when we were early teanagers and one of the click, (that's what we called ourselves) got a New bike for his birthday. We all went out on a ride, he kept showing off, well you can guess the rest he was hit by a lorry. Thank the Lord he did live but he spent eight months in hospital and had to undergo Fifteen operations. I have never riden a bike since and that happened a long time ago. I love this poem and I love your work cheers sylvia
Absolutle great. Sorry, I've been a bit pre-occupied I guess. But, I really liked this you did a very, very good job. I know the rating Trolls upset you as they do me, but like I was told, you are a very great poet, read this again if you can't see it. You are all 10's my friend, and I love you.
Yes, all true, even the name. Otherwise I did have a somewhat benign childhood... Frank became a schoolteacher, retired early, then did a few years as a borderguard, ran a hobbyfarm for decades and made absolutely fantastic blackberry wine.To this day, when getting ready to sit, he will entertain others by releasing his air valve at the knee which makes the same noise as the Queens horse in my VIP poem, only a bit less loud. H
Wow, Herbert - what a story! Was this true? Thank you for sharing it - you told it very well. Warmest regards, CJ