Percussion Band, or Letting the Whole School Down by Marilyn Francis

Overawed by circumstance
(sounding brass and angels)
I missed three cymbal clashes.

No one was more surprised
than me when Miss Madden
promoted me from triangles.

Cymbals are a crucial element
in this performance, she said,
I’m going to trust you

to get it right, on the night.
I loved Miss Madden
for choosing me.

It seems that failing to strike
a note at all is worse than
striking the wrong one.

Nowadays I think it was more
the cymbolic representation
of one hand clapping.

Marilyn Francis lives, works, and writes poems near Radstock in the wild south-west of England. She has had one collection of poems, “red silk slippers”, published by Circaidy Gregory Press. She also has some other poems out and about in the world, though she has even more lazing in her notebooks.


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