I now post a poem from my dear friend Daniel Lautzenheiser that I think deserves no less than immediate publication. He read this poem aloud in the camp willow run dining hall at 8:30 am July 7th, 2007 for reasons that cannot here be disclosed. But what I can tell you is this. You will probably need the following critical information to understand what you are about to read.
They called me “The Skipper” the week of July 4th, counselor of Southern 12
Nicole: a friend of ours whose boxcar cabin was NW 4
Daniel did not sleep much the night he wrote this
There was established this summer an unwritten law termed “The Code of the Counselor.” When this code is broken, immediate penalty follows and justice is enforced by the creator of said law. This was such an instance. Although no one will ever be quite sure whether the events described herein were dream or reality, one can be sure that our dear Daniel fabricated nothing but wrote of his honest visions, truth or hallucination.
To the tune of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I slept so weak and weary
Through many a quaint and curious volume of dreams I tour
While I nodded, surely napping, suddenly there came a
As of someone (not so) gently rapping, rapping at my boxcar door.
“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “Pounding at my boxcar door-
Only this, and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was not in bleak December
And each separate dying ember from the torches of my
visitors lit my body in its whole
Eagerly I wished the morrow—though my visitors had sought to
From my hand some hint of sorrow—sorrow for the poor Nicole
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Nicole
In whose prank I had a role.
And then my visitors, they spoke, and handed me a ransom
Which thrilled me—it filled me with fantastic terrors never
For my visitors, with their torch, had now surrounded my
Some visitors, demanding entrance at my boxcar door
Some late night visitors, seeking justice for N and W Number
That was it, and nothing more.
Presently my hand grew stronger, hesitating no longer,
“Sirs,” said I, “Truly your forgiveness I implore
For the fact is I was napping, and so loudly you came
And so vengeful you came tapping, tapping at my boxcar door,
And I scarce was sure I saw you, when I opened up my door
Blurry figures in the darkness, and nothing more.”
Long at those blurry bodies
staring, while they stood there simply glaring
And promulgating three demands,
thrice my acquiescence was their goal.
And so I was left with little
choice, humbled by their Skipper’s voice
Who was firmly seeking reparations
for a lady, in a word, Nicole
This I whispered, and in
confirmation heard the name, “Nicole.”
In whose prank I had a role.
Back into my boxcar turning, all
my soul within me burning
For I was humbled, humbled by the
Southern Twelve of yore
And now today I stand before you,
and to Nicole I turn
To the fair Nicole I turn, and to
the ladies of Boxcar Four.
Ladies: “Please forgive me, kind
girls of Boxcar Four.
That is all I ask, and nothing