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Original artwork by Katie M. Zeigler

The Great Pretender

Ace Boggess

Marching with the junior-high band,

I pretended to play clarinet


while digits bounced ineptly,

dull, above the keys.        


If I added voice to musicians in their choir,

my instrument would whine complaints.


Annexed by the troupe,

I fingered quick approximations of each note.


Reed depressing tongue, denied vibration,

performed its function to precision,


complementing tunes with quiet

unnoticed on crowded streets.


In the parade, I focused on my feet &

couldn’t keep a rhythm even then.