The Trombone of Gabriel

So I am listening, idly like most of the time,
To this “army guy,” who, someone says,
“Gets all buff,” just to join up so he can
Be part of the band, and not “of brothers,”
But of musical instruments,

And that leads me to wonder about
That old lure of martial music, drums
And fifes and trumpets, and that
Leads me to consider the trombone–

The Trombone of the Lord,
Gabriel’s Trombone, “Hear that
Trombone in the Morning,”and
Those soulful Trombones of Jericho:

And I wonder, still pretty idly, you understand,
How might history and even providence
Have evolved to the swinging lure
Of a trombone’s baritone low croon,

Or its madcap dancing tenor bray,
And what might we have become,
Trombone encumbered, in the unmarchable
Wahoo of the comic slide and fumble?

How nurturing might our burnt loam
Be, plowed to the lowing trombone
While we swing arms to embrace the good,
And step sublimely to the dulcimer of God?

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the North Woods of Minnesota and the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. He is the author of four books of poetry, notably Disordinary Light, and most recently Eumaeus Tends, based on the few lines of The Odyssey that are axial to our understanding of the power and complexities of love. A new book, Selenity Book Four will appear next winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.