Echoes of a Bagpipe

You can learn when pipes are played,
immerse yourself in bagpipe history,
study the details of its construction
and research where to buy one.

A bagpipe can be seen in pictures
played by a full dress, lone
piper or in a multitude
marching down Fifth Avenue.

Someone who has heard
the pipes can describe the droning
sound, it can be reproduced
on CDs, in movies…

Yet nothing prepares
you to hear a bagpipe live,
the melody of “Black Island”
echoing off the ridge on the far
side of Wheeling Creek,

piercing the rationalization
of how it’s Nature’s way,
piercing the comfort, cold,
of theological idealism,

piercing the dull routines
and the flimsy shell of denial,
louder than ever imagined –
at the funeral of an old dear friend.