The Orange Room Review

Accessible poetry of substance

On Tour with the Percussives

by Ron Lavalette

Every nook held its gong, its cowbell
tabla, tamboura, tom-tom, conga, guiro
and that was all we ever knew
except for how the landscape scrolled
past the tinted windows, lights
in  little houses in tiny towns
well before dawn on the fringe
of the city, no one up but us,
not even the paperboys.  We’d
hear the rev-down, feel the bus
decelerate, suffer the first tug
of gravity, re-enter atmosphere, peer
out at the still-dark garage, 
the unlit pumps waiting, sway
slightly when the brakes squeaked,
unaccustomed as we were
to stationary objects.
This was always the golden moment:
stepping off the bus onto pea-stone,
sunrise still an hour beyond horizon,
all the air in every direction pregnant,
everything only about to happen;
we’d share a quiet smoke and
listen to our heartbeats, rehearsing.

RON LAVALETTE lives in the tiniest corner of Vermont, The Northeast Kingdom, barely a snowball’s throw from the Canadian border. His work has appeared widely both in print journals and online. A reasonable sample of his published work can be found at Eggs Over Tokyo.