This poem is dedicated to all my marching band friends, and to all those who support and sustain the art of music in motion
The “bench” is empty.
There are no first, second, or third stringers.
From the newest freshman who can barely keep up, to the most seasoned senior, everyone is on the field, every moment.
No subs, no pinch hitters, no back-ups.
Expectations for performance are the same for everyone, every day.
The clock doesn’t stop.
There are buses, and trucks, and equipment, and more equipment.
And carts, and electric, and generators, and video, and lights, and med-kits, and ice, and play-through-the-pain, and discipline…and discipline.
And there’s wind, and some rain, and the cold, and the heat.
Uniforms are old-school. Made of wool.
Summer, fall, winter, spring.
Then there’s practice.
Hours and hours before school even begins.
When everyone else is still in summer-mode.
Learn to walk, again. Run, jump, breath. Together.
Eat, play, move. Together.
Sit, stand, focus. Together.
Days, Nights, Friday, Saturday. Together.
Graceful, punch it, soft, hard, hit-it, toss it, catch it, breathe deeper from way down, precise, in-synch, feet, hands, toes, heels, heads, chest, shoulders, stomach. Together.
Eyes with pride. Together.
Change the move, read the chart, two more steps, reach, stretch, fix it, stop. Together.
One more time. One more time. One more time. Together.
Ready. Ready? To the ready. Get ready.
Drum majors, is your band ready?
You may take the field and perform