Pomp and Trumpets

How many times have I heard this song? How many times have I played it? This time there’s the satisfaction, I am the one marching and NOT playing the song until my fingers are stiff as grampa’s collar, and lips are buzzy and numb.

Daa, da da da daa daaaa! I look to the band pit smugly thinking “ha ha!” (like the Simpsons “Cartman”) Poor suckers! How many times are you doomed to play and listen to this song?

I stride to my seat grinning gleefully at two friends who also endured endlessness “Pomp and Circumstance.” Never more! The glances reveal a mirth and deep need to break into uncontrolled dance, but we maintain restrained.

The march winds down, the MC smiles, lifts his hands heavenward and introduces our class to the audience whose pride overflows like tight jeans holding up a muffin top. Families are giddy with gratification, relief or both.  Their kid has reached the summit of life thus far. As the applause dwindles toward near silence he says, “Please be seated.”

Carefully smoothing my robe, I take my seat, a smile still squishes my face. Drawing a deep breath I am smacked with the realization. My thoughts race through rapids and channels as I understand this is the last time I will hear the march. This time it’s for me.

The speeches are filled with conviction that mere children may know what lies ahead. In reality they are clueless to the reality that nothing will be as it’s envision or believed. The time in between is smudged and blurred, indistinguishable accept for the churning worry I may trip while receiving my diploma.

I awake as Trumpet Voluntary begins to blast and mortar board rain down and I rush to escape to the future that awaits.


This post was written thanks to the RemembeRED “prompt” at the red dress club:

This week we asked you to think about graduation. It didn’t have to be yours and it didn’t have to be high school. It does have to be non-fiction – it’s memoir.


5 comments on “Pomp and Trumpets

  1. Galit Breen says:

    I love the powerful, poetic writing here. you really captured this important (for so many reasons!) moment in time!

    My husband was a musician, so I can feel your pain a bit about playing the song over and over and over again.

    The paragraph about the speech (ending with the possible trip) is my favorite. A glimpse of the future.

    Also? I love that you claim the song as for you. Perfect.


    • debseeman says:

      A bit of irony in the realization it was being played for ME that time. I appreciate the connection to poetry which I have a strong love of.


  2. Cassie says:

    Teehee – LOVE the reference to the band. Been there – pained through that. Even though I was a flute player, I doubled on Trumpet, and had to take 1st because the other 1sts were graduating. which meant, I wanted to die by round 13.


    • debseeman says:

      I played flute as well and I think at one playing or another I may have actually dozed off whilst playing said “Pomp” or “Trumpet”. Fortunately our band was big enough no doubling was required….WHEW!


  3. May says:

    The words you have chosen really capture the emotion of the day. the buzzy, numb lips;mirth and a deep need to break into an uncontrolled dance; rush to escape to the future that awaits. Great phrases!


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