Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Janitor's Boy

In Maine this week I came across a Brooklyn artifact. I suppose they are everywhere if you know how to spot them. This one was in a book of children's poetry I picked up at the Goodwill in N. Windham. It was written by a 9-year old girl, Nathalia Crane, and published in a New York paper at 1922. It makes me feel nostalgic for "spicy trees" of her imaginary refuge. I like to think these two are still out there on an overlooked island in Jamaica Bay.

The Janitor's Boy

Oh I'm in love with the janitor's boy,
And the janitor's boy loves me;
He's going to hunt for a desert isle
In our geography.

A desert isle with spicy trees
Somewhere near Sheepshead Bay;
A right nice place, just fit for two
Where we can live alway.

Oh I'm in love with the janitor's boy,
He's a busy as he can be;
And down in the cellar he's making a raft
Out of an old settee.

He'll carry me off, I know that he will,
For his hair is exceedingly red;
And the only thing that occurs to me
Is to dutifully shiver in bed.

That day that we sail, I shall leave this brief note,
For my parents I hate to annoy;
"I have flown away to an isle in the bay
With the janitor's red-haired boy."

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