The Pied Pipers

It starts with a rhythm;

A marching and tapping,

Then a deep base heart-beat,

A beat you feel more than hear,

Finally, the low drone,

A discordant tone

That does not falter

But signals all that is to come;

No more than a breath or two

And then an ancient, practiced tune

Soars out on the hot night air

Floating along the waters

As people come running,

Streaming out of houses

To follow them,

The pied pipers.


I was putting my son to bed tonight when we heard the sound of pipes floating through our windows. At first, we pressed our faces to the screens, trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. It was getting louder and louder, so, determined not to miss whatever the show was, I flew down stairs and out the front door. My son followed close behind and we stood there, both of us bare foot, he in his pyjamas, looking toward the source of the sound. It was coming from the direction of the canal.

Other front doors opened as other families in the neighbourhood also looked and pointed.

As the band marched into view, along the bike path lining the canal, I grabbed my son’s hand and said, “come on!” We ran, barefoot, down the street and stood with our neighbours watching the Governor General’s Foot Guards as they played and marched up and down the canal.

Pure joy!

The above is by no means a serious poem, just an attempt to capture the fun and exuberance of this evening as everyone rushed out their doors to see the band. And I thought I was one of the few who love the pipes!




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