You'll still be here
In my world, in the place
I'm living and existing in for now;
You'll be there,
Goofing off between attentions and forward marches,
Goading J and Av on to greater dorkicity at lunch,
Silly-walking all over the road on the way to the field,
Snapping to serious at the barked command,
Showing everyone that there's more to you than we first think,
Hintingly mature as you watch the man in the red shirt,
Watching his hand,
Following each command he calls
To the band.
Somehow making us all feel at ease
In the uniforms,
In the band,
In the world we built in the hall, among the horns and timpanis, where
We are safe from what the outside thinks of us
And our Star Wars obsession,
And our Halo COD competitions,
And all the quirks that make us
You'll still be there next year,
There to drum with,
To learn from,
To correct the holding of the mallets like the needles of knitting
(Which I'm sorry for doing so much;
I really do try to hold them otherwise
But it's not exactly easy when
You're as awkward with mallets as me);
To teach the playing of cadences
And boogies on blacktops
And whatever else it is you do in the last row
At the games of November and September;
You'll be there to jazz with at seven A. M.
(The time God cursed),
There to hunt out sunlight glimmers left hid in the dense haze of
There to play us all the wonders of saxybeats and
To dance as only you can,
As only you should
I have a brother,
He's a bit like you.
Both you and he draw people like the earth draws the moon, and
You and he can brighten a place as dark as Montresor's catacombs, and
Shatter silence with others' laughter, and . . .
And . . .
There's just something about men like you
That makes people want to get as close as we can for as long
As we can.
And I get another year
With you in the world I live in,
Another year with you in the hall of timpanic horns,
With you seen in passing from Am to Klin,
With you near enough to tell me, "No, you did wrong;
Go fix it
You're very much like Luke.
I felt safe with him,
Safe to be honest
And ask for help,
And sometimes just
A poor, cracked teacup
Into his hands
I knew he would hold the pieces
I could hold together again.
Life of the party,
Gifted with eyes that saw more than just the
Of people in the room,
Someone you couldn't help but like and
That's just who he was.
That's who he was to me--
And much like him are you.
I get another year with you;
Thank God Merciful for it,
I'd hate to have lost
The friend you are
You'll still be here