Did we know what we had?
Could we recognize what was growing
in our Midwest midst?
Greatness may have caught us
off guard. Was this
to be ours? a community of musicians—our guys—waking up
to this instant, this note, playing it as if
for the first time—
hearts exploding with magic and effort, never mind
Steady, relentless keenness for the work, responding
to a call to beauty, life
form taking shape in each heart
con brio? Knocking the socks
off the Proms, making them weep
What do we know of birthright? deep-rooted tradition? of old-world
of the finest? This is not, after all, the court, the country, the century
of the Pear Garden,
of Sundiata Keita,
We were not, after all, born
entitled. How were we to know we would experience transcendence
in the flesh?
We do, though, have evening wear
however much our Facebook photos tend toward baseball caps.
We can clean up, play the big leagues.
You know, maybe it isn’t important whether
we knew—we can listen. Recognize. Respond
ourselves. We can decide
what matters. Greatness isn’t its own defense. It takes defending.
Coverage of issues and events affecting Central Corridor communities is funded in part by a grant from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.