An Observation After the 8th Grade Band Concert

You there, on trombone, in the white
button-up shirt and black pants, I know you
will not play in band in high school, giving
your time over to sports and girls and
homework in that order. I know your instrument
will sit in a closet off the front hallway where your
mother will dust it once a year and wonder
if she should sell it. But she will keep
dusting it, and the first time

she sees it after you’ve gone to college
she will put it in your old room, standing
it up in a corner. When
you come home on weekends
you will hang your pants on it, and when you
bring your girlfriend to your room while
your parents are at a movie
she will tease you to play it. You will
puff a few notes and
she will take off her clothes. One day

after you graduate, get a job,
find a wife, have a kid or three, you will be
cleaning out the basement where you will come
across the trombone. You will try
to play your old fight song and it will sound
like your best friend you haven’t called
in fifteen years. You will buy a music stand
and a method book; in a few weeks
a co-worker will mention she is in a community
band and all of a sudden on a Wednesday
night you will be playing ‘Trombones Triumphant.’
People will clap, and the next day you will

introduce your fifth grader to a music teacher
and the beat will go on.


Appeared originally in Slurve