Posted in Poetry

Dog Day Band Camp

A wasp lights upon the young girl’s tight calf, she jumps and flinches the flesh like a horse pestered by flies, yet clenches perfect power of will, grasping a tarnished trumpet, eyes fixed ahead, no shade, no clouds, and no pain too great for the strong.  We dare and tease and taunt one another into a self-discipline that is carried into every sector of our post-graduate lives, yells of ‘you should be there by now!’ as we break ranks and go back to run the sequence one more time, even though the last one was precision embodied.  This is how perfect 4’s are earned, not born, not given, sweated out in a dry August field, privileged to be there instead of the beach or the air-conditioned sofa in front of the TV.  No weakness, no corps-style sissy world of feeble complaints.  Sharp, crisp-edged movements, high-step, grunts, blats, dust-scattering steps and pivots, squads that drill the extra hour for the sheer pride of being called out in front to display, to prove exampled.   And the only true pampering comes from a quietly humming stainless steel cooler in the dining lodge that dispenses the coldest glass of milk ever to pass parched lips, replenish thirsting throats.

Dust mingles with sweat

Cakes, clings, struggles to fit in

Searches for found self

 

© Jilly’s 2016

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Author:

A wild soul writing poetry & fiction while teaching high school literature, all with a camera in tow.

15 thoughts on “Dog Day Band Camp

  1. I guess the closest I came Band Camp was AF basic training. Same milk dispenser! Your poem is vivid, Jilly. I could hear the marching, the grunting and straining… and feel the ah that came with ice cold refreshment.

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  2. This is a great description of band camp. The four-hour rehearsals that we endured were truly a rehearsal for life. It does teach a person how to succeed and that’s a skill that can be learned. When a glass of milk is pampering you know you’re disciplined. Really skillfully and beautifully written.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this!! Summer band camp — precision and sweat. And oh I can FEEL that cold milk in my mouth at the end. Great ending!!
    Eons ago, when raising our kids, we lived a short walk from where the Iowa Hawkeye marching band practiced on those dog days of late August getting ready for the football season. We loved watching them strut their stuff while we wore our sunglasses and drank cold water from our thermos – thanks for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This part really stood out for me:

    This is how perfect 4’s are earned, not born, not given, sweated out in a dry August field,

    It would be great to drink that coldest milk. Really well done Jilly!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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