With runny nose, watering eyes, I faced a bitter cold,
It was winter of ‘41, I was eight years old.
My heavy sheep-lined coat, was fastened ‘neath my chin,
Corduroy pants in galoshes, kept wind from getting in.
Two sets of mittens, a stocking cap over my ears,
I looked burdened, but winter wise despite my years.
My trusty sled, tethered to a close line rope,
Followed, as I headed for the sledding slope.
Joined by many friends, we portrayed a winter thrill.
Throwing snowballs, anxious to reach the hill.
Crossing a footbridge, high over railroad tracks,
We saw engines below, smoke belching from their stacks.
We gathered atop the hill... at the sledding street.
We rested here, before attempting our thrilling feat.
“Last one down is a monkey"; I quickly grabbed my sleigh.
Feet pounding, lungs bursting, I slammed and was on my way.
Runners rumbled on icy ripples, vibrating into my chest.
We headed downward... I wasn’t first, but did my best.
Pitching into an “S” curve, my sled began to move.
Lean into this turn, stay in a well worn groove,
Still another turn; someone took a spill.
Dashing ever onward, I flew recklessly down the hill.
Watch out, there's a cross-road up ahead,
My body tensed, thoughts of autos entered my head.
Clamped to the steering bar, the sled and I were one.
Nothing coming... I continued my downhill run.
I gained on another boy, he was dragging his feet.
I couldn't pass him, as long as he hogged the street.
Reaching out to him, I gave his boot a push.
He spun out of control, and into a roadside bush.
Onward, picking up speed, another cross-road to go.
A little guy was almost there, when a car began to show.
Neither could stop, on streets covered with ice and snow;
A Model T crossed his path; “Skeeter” shot through below.
Behind I made my pass; curses were pounding my ears.
Should a driver cuss like that, to a kid of my tender years?
Half a block to go, the end was now in sight.
What a delirious ride... what a joyous delight!
We conquered this hill, smiling from ear to ear.
We took on a Frozen Dragon, showing no signs of fear.
Reckless in our pursuit, of that I have no doubt.
We were determined, to seek life’s challenge out.
Kids, don't be foolish, as I was on that day.
Parents can't watch you forever, when you go out to play?
You too may find your dragon, waiting on destiny’s path,
If you dare to challenge, you can overcome its wrath.
Take charge, make life what you will.
You’ll find it memorable, as was my Winter on the Hill.