The Marching Band


by Dairíne Bennett

Poem composed at the Fall Wake Up 2012 Retreat in Newgrange, Ireland in response to a Q&A session.

Photo from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives
Photo from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives

For the longest time now
I’ve tried to march to my own drum,
Attempted to make music
From a lonely bumbumbum.
The sound was very timid

Most days I forgot to play,
And there were even moments I thought,
“Sure I’ll throw this drum away…”

Until I met a wise man, he
knowing more than I could understand
who said “Pick up your own drum there
and join the marching band.”

And in this band I found a sound
I’d never heard before –
the harmony of playing with
a hundred drummers more.

The peace of hearing a friend’s song
On days I forgot to sing,
the joy of finding music
in everyone and everything.

And I can keep my own tip tap
Still hear my bumbumbums,
But oh! the strength, the power, the love
of a hundred thousand drums!

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