He Gave Me His Drumsticks.

The notch marks and splinters give it away,

another symbolic nick, a gash

in the rhythm and the hit me

in time with the cow bell,

the drummer looking down,

a single gestured tapping

and the guitar goes silent,

only the hum of the audience

joins in the anticipation

of the beat, suddenly rising

Hell is unleashed and the drumsticks

crash though arteries, a legion of sweat

ready to pounce and scratch

at the bleeding eyes of those in love.

The heat is blinding, Buddy Rich intense,

a bond cemented when the stick comes

through the final gesture of defiance

and flies like a half chance, half intrigued

boomerang, caught with one hand, splinters

through the pulse of the wrist;

he gave me his drumsticks,

signed backstage

and in my blood.


Ian D. Hall 2017