“Are. A. W”
When U R
the lowest pitched instrument
in the brass family,
at one time the only family you got,
you are painfully aware
that even jazz
and the blues
have a bottom.
A low end theory.
the only one of your kind in an orchestral configuration,
A seat reserved for you
on principal alone,
As opposed to pigmentation.
It takes guts to be a tubaist,
takes more to achieve greatness,
The near equivalent of small intestinal tubing
Remind you of the days that you had to eat your imagination
So g-d gave you a second stomach
A second esophagus
An embouchure (aam·
Resurrected as a student of second chances, always coming back for more…
A God given gift for spit, no wonder you’re always demanding an encore.
Made you a mountain
With the mouth of a valley.
With the ability to will yourself
To the summit.
Come hell or highwater
Through work or wind.
Made you a modern day Sandia
From a Sandtown kid
Proof that dreams still exist
Even in lil’ Black Baltimore Boys that go
From the boroughs of Billie and “Eubie” Blake
Where they used to pump base
But now you bump bass
Pipe battle hymns through the republic
Never meant to replace our star spangled banners
Just an escape
In F2 or B♭
From a fountain in a park
To a flood of respect,
A bird bath
Haloed by angels determined to adopt you from death
Your life turned redemption song
So sweet all the hummingbirds wanna sip
So play the hell out of that horn
Until the Saints come marching in…