I was looking through some old papers and found this poem. I wrote it when I was 18. It was inspired by one specific person but here it is dedicated to all the trumpeters I’ve loved–there have been several. You know who you are.


head thrown back, eyes closed,
he sits and waits,
hearing silent tones and
holding cold, unfeeling brass

suddenly the moment comes, he
stands and readies
sounds of all life’s unsaid words,
smooth, sad, sweet, and sure

low lonesome keening wail —
laughter in the night —
lies easily told, unrepented —
laments for the voice alone

brass becomes supple flesh
born of unbreathed dreams
broken, braced, and blown
blue midnight without stars