“Wailing” appeared in Soundings East, Volume 12, No. 1, 1989.


When I was in high school, I loved to wail on my saxophone. I would close my eyes and blow, and every emotion I wanted to express but couldn’t, every idea, would come forth from the bell all merged into one glowing, dancing, wailing entity. My sister Annie would scream at me from her bedroom, “Will you stop that noise, George! I’m trying to read. Can’t you understand? I can’t hear the people talking!” I’d tell her to drop dead, and continue playing. “Quit it!” she’d scream. I’d stop wailing and start honking.  “Oh, Gawd, I’m going to kill you!” Heel-heavy, she’d charge across the hall and kick in my door.

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