The Sound of a Marching Band Always Did Make Me Cry A Little

The Sound of a Marching Band Always Did Make Me Cry a Little


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.


Expanding at the speed of light, I witness

the origins of our newly forged universe, embrace

the exquisite nature of every thing.

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