Wednesday, July 4, 2007


A poem shared with me by Bruce Wilmer ...


Solemn words and rituals

    And a young lady's heart-rending

        National Anthem

            Opens the 4th of July fair,

                As nearby church chimes compete.

Throughout the day,

    Musicians on stage

        Amplify their diverse styles

            For the scattered crowd.

Young dancers pound the holiday stage

    With emphatic rhythms.

Spirited children roll over and over

    On the cushiony grass

        And prance the green corridors

            Between folding chairs 

                In joyful display.

Face painters transform other children

    Patient enough to wait in line

        Into something bright and silly.

Artists and craftsmen magnet themselves

    To passersby

        From their canvas booths

            Crammed with creations.

Sizzling, smoking barbecue tents

    Summon mid-afternoon appetites

        To juicy snacks

            Heaped with fixin's.

Other tents tempt with frosty root beers

    And fruit smoothies.

Rain hides in the clouds

    But soon lets go and harvests

        A wildflower field of umbrellas.

During the shower, the dulcimer player 

    Charms us with her melodious mix

        And then poignantly concludes with

            "When You and I Were Young, Maggie,"

A piece my daughter, not long before,

    Had brought to life in piano and song

        While exploring my late mother's 

            Tattered box of sheet music.

This tune pierces my heart with recall,

    As memory leaps to my mother's lithe hands

        Dancing over the familiar keys

            In a far-off living room.

Sitting there in the town square,

    I roam time's vault of small moments,

        Painfully aware how priceless they turn

            With each passing season.

I look at you,

    In the evolving light,

Our forms pressed close

    On the low circular wall,

My thoughts unconsciously scanning 

    Our decades together,

Unable to keep from humming once again,

    Long after the dulcimer has left the stage,

        "When you and I were young."

Bruce B. Wilmer

© 2004 All rights reserved

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