Sons

A Boy and His Horn

(Edited with jo(e)'s comment in mind.)

His hair hangs into his eyes, lank as his slender body. He climbs the stairs into the chancel and reaches for the clarinet lying on the organ console. He tongues the reed, then touches the music on the stand, a superstitious gesture.

He takes a breath and begins. His slender fingers nimbly scale the keys. He breathes more than air into his horn. He pours himself in; out comes a mellow, limber melody.

The notes rise higher in the descant; the clarinet's voice changes. Notes high and sweet sing of inaccessible divine, hid from our eyes.

They move together, the boy and his horn, the breath and the bone, the reed and the reedy.

6 thoughts on “A Boy and His Horn”

  1. Beautiful.
    (Side note I feel obligated to point out: I do think you might want to reconsider using first “tongues” and then “screws” as two verbs in a row in a piece about an adolescent boy ….)

  2. Yes, in fact I was trying to come up with another word for putting the mouthpiece on the clarinet and didn’t come back to it. And I felt that way not because I was hearing the double entendre but because it seemed too easy a word.
    It’s hard to get around the tongue, though, since that’s what clarinetists do. I’ll work on it.

Leave a Reply