Drumming Behind You in the High School Band
Rehearsing in street clothes after school,
we measured off the football field
in the spice and chill of early fall.
Through roll-off, counterpoint, and turn,
by the grunt and pop of blocking drill,
I marked the cadence of switching hips
no martial air could ever hold.
How left was left, how right was right!
We had a rhythm all our own
and made them march to it, slowing “The Stars
and Stripes Forever” as the sun stretched
our shadows toward the rising moon
and my heart kept stepping on my heels.
“Drumming Behind You in the High School Band” by William Trowbridge, from Enter Dark Stranger. © University of Arkansas Press, 1989. Reprinted via The Writer’s Almanac with permission. (buy now)
I just thought it was kind of nice. Click here to listen to Garrison Keillor reading the poem, along with discussion of other writer events of the day and of the week of Valentine’s Day.