This poem makes me laugh and cringe a little as I get ready for my middle schoolers to descend on my classroom on Monday. What a wonderful, terrible time of life those early teens are. I wouldn't go there again for any money myself, but I get to experience it vicariously every year through my students.
The Junior High School 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.
Here's the rest, and you can also hear the author reading the poem at that link.
Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.
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