A Poem for Tuesday

Colin had a tough bus ride home yesterday.  One of his the things he does to help cope with the autism in his brain is talk to himself.  He’s reviewing what he said to hear it again, make sure it was right, practice for the future.  As you and I both know, though, people who aren’t careful when they talk to themselves (alone in the car, maybe?) have a tough time on the school bus.

Colin knows that he does this — which is either a blessing or a curse.  Now it’s up to him to learn and control when it’s okay and when it’s not.

So here’s a poem in honor of Colin today.  It’s about junior high band — one place where he really shines without having to work too hard at it.

And if you are a prayer warrior, will you lift up Colin today?  He has to ride the stinkin’ bus every day.


The Junior High Band Concert

by David Wagoner


When our semi-conductor
Raised his baton, we sat there
Gaping at Marche Militaire,
Our mouth-opening number.
It seemed faintly familiar
(We'd rehearsed it all that winter),
But we attacked in such a blur,
No army anywhere
On its stomach or all fours
Could have squeezed through our crossfire.

I played cornet, seventh chair,
Out of seven, my embouchure
A glorified Bronx cheer
Through that three-keyed keyhole stopper
And neighborhood window-slammer
Where mildew fought for air
At every exhausted corner,
My fingering still unsure
After scaling it for a year
Except on the spit-valve lever.

Each straight-faced mother and father
Retested his moral fiber
Against our traps and slurs
And the inadvertent whickers
Paradiddled by our snares,
And when the brass bulled forth
A blare fit to horn over
Jericho two bars sooner
Than Joshua's harsh measures,
They still had the nerve to stare.

By the last lost chord, our director
Looked older and soberer.
No doubt, in his mind's ear
Some band somewhere
In some music of some Sphere
Was striking a note as pure
As the wishes of Franz Schubert,
But meanwhile here we were:
A lesson in everything minor,
Decomposing our first composer.
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