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Poems and Stories from Kurtis Gilbreath
The Piperís Sunrise


By: Kurtis Gilbreath
copyright 11-10-05

       The fog was especially thin this morning as I stood upon the ramparts preparing to awaken the castle for another glorious day. I watched as the sun began to crest over the mountains in the East. I drew in a deep breathe as I felt a gust of new life breathed into the world. This time of morning belongs to very few people. The only things that a Piper can truly call his own are his pipes, his clan, and the sunrise.  This was something that no one could take from us. We had been under siege for almost a month, but our will was not broken. We defeated the English and sent them scattering into the wood. We knew that they would return later with a stronger force; but, not today. Today there will be a celebration to make the Nobles jealous. As the sun finishes showing itself over the mountainous range and floods our valley with gold I raise the mouthpiece to my mouth, breathe life into my war tattered pipes, and spin a beautiful heartbeat into the seemingly lifeless castle. For a brief moment I can see in the distance a misty form. It is a piper from long ago come to celebrate. He picks up the tune and it fills my heart, so I play for him also. I hear the maids clattering in the kitchen. I see the stable boys stretching and yawning as they pull on their shirts and adjust their kilts. I know that deep inside the Laird is cursing my fool hide. This makes me smile, for it was his order to play at this hour. There really is no pleasing that man, but we will endure his ranting because he is truly kind and generous; the kind of man that most aspire to be; truly honest and honorable in all of his intentions. He will be making his way up to my tower top in just a matter of minutes to see what the dawn has brought. I will not tell him that he has denied himself the honor of knowing how a piper sees the world. He would not understand how the sunrise could possibly make a man cry and feel as if he were on top of the world all at the same time. I will try to explain it to him on a day that nothing has gone wrong. I will be waiting for a while. He comes from the arch and bounds to me like a boy playing in a field and claps me on the shoulder. I finish my phrase and bring my pipes down so that we may talk. The conversation leads us to the sun rising so I tell him how I see it. He says tomorrow I am to wake him so that he may understand why tears flow from my eyes yet I wear a smile. Tomorrow will be a good day.


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