Today was feeling rather blah;
I thought we’d watch Mr. Rogers.
He is always good for a pick-me-up;
A brief respite for us artful dodgers.
He had as his guests some musicians;
A pianist and his sons.
The music they played was brilliant,
The kind we teachers never shun.
It dawned on me—that was Branford!
As in Marsalis, you know? Saxophone?
And his brothers Jason and Delfeayo
Who together with Dad were all tone
And notes and improv.
Their session was a joy to watch;
And their words were not a bother.
When asked where they learned to play like that,
The boys credited their father.
“It’s not just the musical training, though,”
Branford said with great respect.
“It was also my father’s perspective
That had the longest lasting effect.
“My father showed me how to see the world
And how to treat the people in it;
I learned from him a love of life.
For vainglory we care not a bit.”
(Okay, so that’s my translation.)
I thought back to my meeting Wynton
At a country club on Long Island.
I was introduced as “the babysitter”
Which made me wince at the same time that he smiled and
Made me feel at ease.
His eyes said, “I understand, you know,
These people and their pomp.
It’s okay. Don’t feel bad.” Then we went our ways.
And you can bet the nanny didn’t stomp.
But rather, I walked lightly.
Thinking, “My goodness, how cool was that?”
So now it’s jazz that interests me
And my children, too, seem taken.
We will learn that it’s not just the style of the notes,
But rather, the music of life that we’re making.