Friday, September 9, 2016


A Screenshot of what was our old high schol

I am not a fan of most free verse, but this one literally caught my eye on The Writer’s Almanac because I could take most of it in in one look. It struck a familiar note.

The High School Band in September

On warm days in September the high school band
Is up with the birds and marches along our street,
Boom boom,
To a field where it goes boom boom until eight forty-five
When it marches, as in the old rhyme, back, boom boom,
To its study halls, leaving our street
Empty except for the leaves that descend to no drum
And lie still.
In September
A great many high school bands beat a great many drums,
And the silences after their partings are very deep.

I know we weren’t up with the birds, but in my freshman year of high school, whenever it was that we had to practice for a parade, we too had to march from the high school down the block to the small playing field that was surrounded by houses. Boom, boom, boom. The next year we were in the new high school, a mile away and much closer to where I lived, with extensive playing fields for our marching. I've written about Being in the Band and marching at football games.

I had to refresh my memory and take a look at that old high school on Google. It’s now an elementary school (I knew that.) but from the air it looks like it had extensive renovation, and a lot of old homes were sacrificed for its expansion. The houses in the back gave way to the expanded building and a paved play area. The old field is still there. Where there were houses across the street from the front of the school, there is now half a block’s worth of playing field. Nice.

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