Yorick Magazine, Vol. 2, Summer and Fall 2013

Page 36

Old Ears

Alexander Harasymiw

The sergeant walks gingerly along the line of troops, helmet heads lying low in holes, blades of grass tickling their chinstraps. She passes out earplugs and they place them in their pockets, to mound, unused, in a hapless pile in an apartment at home. “I want to hear it, undampened,� one thinks as the symphony begins. The music is all crackling and whizzing hums, building at the start with him adding to it the sputtering voice of his instrument; then the harmonious shouting, the passing on of distant orders; undercut still by a cacophony of roaring motors and dull explosions; the soprano solos of shrieking artillery shells and their overwhelming percussion; the tremolo of exhausted soldiers standing and fading to the triumphant conclusion. And at home, when he gets back to bed, her tacit whisper fails on deafened ears, au contraire to her head hitting the baseboard with the quasi-cadence of a marching band.