“To the Ready, Forward March!”

 “Grab your trombone and have some fun!

We can circle the square and stay in the sun,”

I feel like marching when my trombone plays,

Sometimes even on windy or rainy days,

Seventy-six trombones” is my favorite song,

Because it’s happy and boisterous as I march along,                                  

What better way to make everybody’s day,

Than to let them hear the trombones play,

The music and rhythm tickles me inside,

Especially when I’m marching with you in stride,

We’ll play “Stars and Stripes” as we begin,

And when we get to the park, where we end,

You can play “Fantasy” to show your skills,

While I get ready to give the audience thrills,

In case you’re wondering what I’m talking about,

I’ll explain it to you and erase all doubt,

I’m more than a musician, I’m also a clown,

I enjoy hearing laughter all around,

Music and laughter are both good for the soul,

If your foot starts tapping, I’ve met my goal,

And if you laugh with me, you’ve made my day,

That’s all I need, that will be my pay,

If I distract someone and see a happy face,

The whole world will seem like a better place,

Grab your trombones, cornets, or your reeds,

We’ll march across the highway into the weeds,

“To the ready, Mark Time, and Forward March”

A lively cadence but without all the starch,

If laughter and music is quicker in pace,

The world will seem like a better place,

So let’s go marching with our trombones,

We’ll be royalty without our thrones,

We’ll go to the park where we’ll slide but not swing,

We’ll laugh at ourselves, and enjoy everything.

My House is an Art Gallery

My House is an Art Gallery

My house is a special art gallery,

Flowers and portraits are everywhere,

Waiting for visitors to arrive and share,

Watercolors with true stories to tell,

Eagerly anticipating the doorbell,

Portraits expectantly watch the door,

They’re silent now, for I am easy to ignore,

They’re always there, but wanting more,

At the sight of the first painting my heart leaps,

A girl with dark eyes, above my mantel weeps,

Her teddy bear is tightly clutched in her hands,

“Where are my friends? I don’t understand!”

No one visits her, I shrug and continue on my way,

I don’t have an answer, perhaps another day,

Nearby a tiger protects her cub from intruding force,

Cautiously I tiptoe past and silently leave,

There is no need to challenge her of course,

Ben, a young boy from India, wearing a scarf of red,

Watches intently a few steps up the stair,

“My family has never seen me,” he complains,

“Do they know I’m here? Perhaps they’re not aware.”

A portrait of a gray cat beside the door,

Stares with a proud and haughty air,

She wishes her tail as if she doesn’t care,

But she stays quiet and does not respond,

In the dining room awaiting my inspection,

 A single rose waves to the white amaryllis,

Where ladybugs search the flowers and drink the dew,

They clamor for their share of attention too,

The rose ignores a bright-eyed squirrel that’s ready to play,

 So he chatters at me, “How are you today?”

I retreat into my study and seize my phone,

But a portrait behind me reminds me I’m not alone,

With blood on her fingertips and blood on her lips,

A stern-faced girl admonishes, “Never forget,”

“He came to kill us, he left much to regret,”

“Be ever on guard, always stay alert,”

Within her eyes I can see an eternity of hurt,

Her warning heeded, I leave with a scowl,

In the room above, a wolf surrounded by daisies,

Lifts his head to howl,

In all the commotion I detect some surprise,

In a nearby room reside girls with bright eyes,

“A visitor,” one whispers, “who’s come to see,

 Me, just me, and only me,”

 But another smiles, “I don’t agree,”

In the hall, aware of their conceit,

A boy smiles, but he’s very discrete,

Downstairs in the basement a girl with dreds,

Dominates a wall, unconcerned with all,

That is unfolding before her,

A mischievous clown blows a kiss,

And grins at a sweet young miss,

Sitting pretty upon a bench,

A smile frozen on her face,

She asks, “Do visitors come to this place?”

Her question is reasonable,

But no answer she receives,

I’ve asked myself that question and often I grieve,

But who loves watercolors, beauty, and art?

Oft I’ve invited, I’ve done my part,

So the portraits wait patiently and stare into space,

Ignored and lonely, it’s such a disgrace,

Just me in this house with seventy and more,

Waiting and pacing, treading the floor,

Perhaps you’re ready to come this way,

I’ll check with them to see what they say,

They’ll not object to find you here,

But I want you to know they might stare,

They’re eager to please those who stop by,

They’re lonely without people and I know why,

If no one comes and sees them like this,

I’ll wrap them all up with a goodbye kiss,

I’m tired of being in this house all alone,

I’ll wrap up my treasures and then I’ll be gone

The pictures will be stacked in the dark somewhere,

Away from the crowds and dusty air,

Away from the music they hear all day,

Back to the boxes and tucked away.

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