The Magic Trumpet

by Gary Moshimer

I gave my trumpet case
to a girl named Sophie;
she liked the velvet inside.
She still played with dolls;
they would live there,
in the dark
away from the world.

I was a terrible trumpeter;
i missed the high notes in band,
squawked like a chicken.

I strapped the trumpet
on my bike,
for the ride home.

Something awful happened
in my town.
A plane fell from the sky.
Fire and smoke,
Bodies still belted in,
engines through houses,
like in Donnie Darko.

I picked up Sophie:
she was covered in tears,
and ashes.
Her dolls were safe.
I rode fast,
a hot wind blowing through my trumpet,
a death howl,
a deep, chilling note.

We rode.

She held the trumpet
To my back.
It was hot,
and branded me.

Something happened:
I was Donnie.
In another universe
the brass loop
was burned into my skin.

We found our houses were safe.
Sophie's mother prayed on the lawn.
Sophie took the dolls out,
and we played,
brushing their hair,
getting them ready,
for funerals,
and speeches.
For breakdowns.

Something happened
to my trumpet.
It hit the notes,
without me trying.
It had a new sound,
a sad minor pitch,
a different color,
To which one paid attention.
The beauty
could not be described.

I was Donnie.

I played for the dolls.
They cried real tears,
sitting there
in my case.

And a month later
I played at the monument,
where 200 had died.
My pure, heart-wrenching notes
were the only sounds for miles,
echoing  from the hills.