There is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States—every man, woman, and child—is in action and will be privileged to remain in action throughout this war. That front is right here at home, in our daily lives and in our daily tasks. Here at home everyone will have the privilege of making whatever self-denial is necessary, not only to supply our fighting men, but to keep the economic structure of our country fortified and secure during the war and after the war.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s radio broadcast to the nation, April 28, 1942

Thursday, May 19, 2011




I picked up the trumpet
in grade school
for something to do.
It was my dad’s horn.

He had played in his
high school band.
He was rather good—
or so he said.

I liked tootling around
pretending I was
swinging with Benny
Goodman or Tommy Dorsey.

One day, at school,
a horn player was recruited
to play Taps as a tribute
to our fallen servicemen.

I had pretended for so long
that I believed I could play.
"I’ll do it!" I said,
before I stopped to think.

Now everyone would know.
I was a faker—a fraud.
How could I have been
so foolish?

I practiced all weekend
in the cellar where my squeaks
and squawks were muffled.
I drilled until my lip bled.

On Monday, bruised and swollen,
I took my place on the landing
between the two floors.
I lifted the trumpet.

I played slowly,
I played deliberately,
I played my best.
I played for my dad.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Musical notation courtesy Internet Archive.


Andrea Murphy said...

Chills. Shivers. Tears. Beautiful, Diane.

Tabatha said...

I sent this on to my musician daughter. Nice work, Diane.

Katie said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Doraine said...

So lovely. Thank you.