The click and throb of a drum corps slays me.
At the marching festival, the staccato and thunder of drum lines
percuss across the sunny October afternoon, report back.
This season, my daughter’s first season marching, my first season
with cancer, beauty and sadness merge, every lovely thing
nearly unbearable in its loveliness.
Approaching the stadium, the radiance of autumn
ash trees strolling the golden promenade
moves me to tears.
We band boosters cluster in the shiny aluminum
stands cheering loudest for the smallest schools
struggling the hardest to be proud.
This day, band after high school band, accomplished
or ragged, every child is my child, my heart pangs
for the earnest brilliance of each one.
When our determined little band takes the field,
we scour the uniforms for our own children,
identifying by instrument, then by size and posture.
At the sight of my daughter, I explode, sobbing for such perfection.
The brass section bangs away at the sky and I am blown open
in the face of what is to come for me, my family.