THE TAPPING

As I awakened I heard the rhythmic tapping —
tapping of my drum sticks
on the edges of my wooden drum —
I, the senior drummer in the high school band.

tap — tap — tap tap tap

The parade had reached the cemetery
and as our lines marched in
there were only sounds of marching feet on gravel
other than my tapping.

I remember two civil war veterans riding in an open car —
the World War I vets, to me, old men —
the laying on of wreaths —
the too long speeches —
the booming of the rifle salutes that marked the end of things
except for taps.

Then again there was my tapping.
All of us were homeward bound.
At the time I felt that I was part of something special.
I did not know how special it was.
I do now!

tap — tap — tap tap tap

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