The box grows slowly, down in Williamsburg, and we walk slowly through the maze of years until the drummers catch us with their beat and fifers trill melodious martial news, bringing the children running to the green, and we are children too. We run along behind the men who leave the Raleigh Tavern, leave the cobbler's bench, and leave the bells of Bruton Parish Church to evening prayer. Shrilling down the Duke of Glouchester Street the fifers reach the square. They slow their steps to half-time near the flag, where stars explode defiance from the staff. An antique cannon booms, a silversmith in homespun stubs the fuse, and drill begins. We see a brown-wigged officer command and know his heritage is not an act, his special issue: drill, defend, or die. Today that man would not be there, the man without a leg. Nor would the boy beside the man who shoulders a blunderbuss, a gun. The roll of drums, abrupt and silent now, leaves a vacuum like a snare, echoing drums, and fifers cradle the music in our minds. We stand so still the birds take over air and we are lifted beyond the sunset sky to see and hear the muster of sleeping men snared by drums that rumbled long and far before this casual cluster of free men.
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Warren Wedin email@example.com