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We put on a show.
Yelled, real loud, top-of-our-lungs rhyme
for the folks drinking five-dollar coffees
at the Starbucks across the street.
Minton suggested the church steps,
even though they didn’t say we could.
What they gonna do? Arrest us?
She shrugged one shoulder, wagged
her hand, then performed
a little ditty about war.
Ross ranted against revenge,
Kelly recited a poem about denial, and
me, I did an impersonation of a capitalist.
One guy in a business suit
shook his fist at us, yelled
a curse we couldn’t hear.
He wouldn’t cross the street,
say it to our faces. So we waved
like beauty queens
in an independence day parade,
smiling to the crowd. Hey, y’all!
When the police cruised by,
Sonia was playing her guitar like a punk
rock star, screeching metal strings
and singing a less than flattering song
about the president of the United States of America.
The preacher finally showed up,
wearing his Sunday collar, waited politely
while we hollered some more.
When we were tired and hoarse
the preacher politely suggested
we ask for permission next time.
Forgiveness is easier.
We cackled and cracked jokes
all the way down the sidewalks
of downtown Nashville. Had ourselves
a real good time.
© Ami Mattison
Flickr photo courtesy of bmitd67