Before We Get Dusty

SSAA, piano

Inspired by the words of patients at the Children's Hospital but appropriate for all children, “Before We Get Dusty” delves into the silly, capturing all the energy of an activity room. Here, the children really get a chance to stretch their imaginations and bodies, and leave their room for a little while. The sense of time is invoked, with a patient wanting to “leave before we get dusty.” Almost every thought in this poem embodies action and strives to throw off the confines of the hospital (or classroom, or long car ride, or being inside, etc!).

Perusal Score: 

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Commissioned By: 
Commissioned for Healing and Hope Through Song, a program of the American Composers Forum, with partial funding provided by Saint Paul Cultural STAR.
Premiere Date: 
Premiere Ensemble: 
Minnesota Boychoir
Premiere Conductor: 
Mark Johnson
See video
Text Author or Source: 
Julia Klatt Singer

I wish I had some bubble wrap
To pop with my feet
Want to jump, poke holes in paper
When it's you, visiting me.

Feeling shy and thank you
Did you know my insides glow?
I swim like a fish, I dance like the wind
In the banana tree leaves.

I like pushing things
I like fighting and watching tv
I wish right now I was a bug
Climbing up your knee.

We'll leave before we get dusty
We'll run and climb every tree
Maybe tomorrow we'll find some
Maybe we'll all turn into bees.

I like to laugh and play with my grandpa,
I like ants in my p.j.s.
Do you wish you were a ball,
could roll and bounce off the walls with me?

I wish I was a builder
I'd build a house we'd decorate
With books and tickets, with money and dogs
With stickers and popsicle sticks.

On the ceiling we'll find thoughts
Drifting and changing like the day,
We'll lie on our backs and watch them
gather and carry our fears away.

We'll leave before we get dusty
We'll run and climb every tree
Maybe tomorrow we'll find some answers
Maybe tomorrow we'll leave.
Maybe tomorrow.