for Louis

as you march ‘long the block
through the alleys of your hometown
the walls of the battlefield frame
the arrival of your song,
as the mighty
trumpet sounds
for Ella Mae
this young boy
a child
favorite son of New Orleans
leads the choir
his first band, hey!
off the banks
of the Mississippi
in through town, the patrons
toss in pocket change
to pay for instruments, for
these future musicians, and to them
they say
keep on,
keep marching on
young Armstrong
you honor our town
with that trumpet sound
walk tall
you’ve made us proud
all these things they proclaim
as the night gives way
to a Mississippi dawn
for Louis

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