If I come to your classroom…

If I come to your classroom, be sure to leave some room
For the bevy of characters who will follow me there
For my stories and diction, are from fact, not fiction
To appeal to those readers liking who, what, and where

And if I read Newfoundlandish, don’t be off-standish
For the Rock’s seen much more than it’s fair share of grief
Drilling rig sunk in ocean, or seventy-seven sealers frozen
The disasters and rescues here beggar belief

And in your auditorium, I tell of Neshan Krekorian
Who jumped into lifeboat being lowered away
While many there panicked, Neshan survived the Titanic
This Canadian immigrant lived to grandfather days

Have your students any notion, that accidental explosion 
Once leveled Halifax like a nuclear blast? 
Or that bodies still moulder, buried deep under boulders
when a Mountain buried a town in e Crowsnest Pass?

Who paid the awful price, of the Quebec bridge that fell twice
A cantilever design that collapsed being built
75 men died in terror, from a simple math error,
And the engineer’s iron ring reminds of the guilt

For every Canadian region, there’s tragedies legion
Arctic explorers gone missing, their ships frozen fast
But researchers desirous, to find frozen flu virus 
Hope millions won’t die if it returns from the past 

(singing) Now I’m a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of Barrett’s privateers…
How many tales linger, of Stan Rogers, folk singer
A big balding troubadour in a burning jet’s frame
Safety rules inspired, by his flight’s needless fire
Have stopped many aircraft from bursting in flames

As once a shaft miner, I’ll describe the points finer   
of places so deep where the dark is profound
If I attend on your school-day, I’ll tell you of Westray
or bumps in Springhill killing hundreds around   

Floods and jet crashes, disease, fire and ashes, 
All these are part of the Canadian lore,
Though the topic ain’t tasteful, to forget history is wasteful, 
Of the lives and the efforts from those of before

René Schmidt,  Copyright 2012