Fathom Mag
Image Board

What We Were

A poem

Published on:
February 11, 2019
Read time:
1 min.
Share this article:

Not a trumpet.
There was nothing brash or bawdy,
no reveille or brass.

Not a drum.
As much as we tried, we never could
get the rhythm right.

Not a guitar.
It would have required unwrapping our
fingers from one another.

Not a bass.
For all its depth, it didn’t have the
high notes we required.

Not a cymbal.
The “tsk, tsk, tsk” would have reminded us
too much of your shame.

We were none
but we were all.  We were the
whole jazz band:

the brooding horn, the step of the djembe,
the spur of the hi-hats and the weight
of the uprights in our chests,

writing a melody as we went along,
stumbling without rhyme or reason
deeper into one another.

Laura Kauffman
Laura Kauffman lives and writes in the Loess Hills of Iowa. After receiving her Master's degree in counseling, she traded in her couch and clipboard for sippy cups and strollers. Now you can find her roaming the woods with her personal band of Lost Boys, searching for the holy in the mundane.  Or you can find her on Instagram.

Cover photo by Spencer Imbrock.

Sign Up Today

You don’t have to miss anything. We send out weekly notifications when we publish a new issue. We like you—so we won’t sell your info to Google or the NSA or even advertisers, they probably already have it anyway.

Already a subscriber? Login here

Next story