Ode to the Percussion Section at the Christmas Concert

I am endlessly inspired by live music, especially band and orchestra concerts and feel blessed to attend so many via my children. This photo is related only in it reminds me of the beauty of many individual parts. If you are in Seattle and have a chance to visit the new Chihuly glass museum at the Seattle Center it is melody and more captured in light!

Ode to the Percussion Section at the Christmas Concert

I love to watch them,
at the high school christmas concert,
they stand in tuxedo shirts and suits,
like butlers or concierges,
like the guys making Belgium waffles
or omelets at fancy Sunday brunches,
waiting for special orders.

Behind xylophones and bass drums,
they bring solemnity to the slapsticks
and tambourines fanned out before them
all the while keeping track as the tubas and trumpets,
the clarinets and oboes dilly dally with melodies.
I love their steadfastness,
they are the cannon loaders,
field goal kickers,
the anesthesiologists and baby catchers,
counted on for moments of glory.

Look at her, the one with her hair
in a practical braid, I can see her lips moving,
more emphatically as the winds
and brass seem to drag,
she is urging them along!
And then when the sound begins to jumble,
she is steady as a metronome,
she lends them her rhythmic heart!

Behold this one whose only job
is to clash together cymbals,
a dozen notes for a whole score,
but we wait for it
with nervous expectation,
we watch and urge him on,
thank god when he is in time.

I love how some know their importance,
those who between measures keeps their instruments
lifted like golden satellite dishes
about to receive intergalactic transmission,
whose mallets are magic wands,
their biceps are taut and confidence is sure.

But I am most inspired by the shy ones,
the triangle player who is forced
to have a turn at the wood blocks,
notice how he ducks behind the chimes,
stepping forward at the very end,
smiling with us for his last few beats.