Susan Wang


Unfortunately, I play the tuba loudly.
Mother thinks it makes me unique;
the neighbors could not disagree more.
At every blast the conductor winces;
the trombones shoot me evil glares.
The violins quake at my solos,
and the flutes squeal in fear.
The other tuba does not understand;
it must cause him endless puzzlement.
“Just play quieter” he tells me.
If only it were that easy.

Unfortunately, I play the tuba loudly.
Every rehearsal I think, this is the one;
my p will be soft and exactly on time.
The conductor looks wary as he lifts his arms.
The music starts and sings away
the melody begins and I can’t help the rush
of joy, something inside me swells,
and I just want to laugh and dance but,
it’s class where these things are
Not Allowed.

So I sit and watch and wait for the cue,
And when it comes I can’t help but play
a little bit louder.
The other tuba rolls his eyes;
the conductor’s shoulders slump in defeat.
But I just blare along,
because sometimes I think it’s okay
to be a little bit different
if it means I can just be.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.