Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On the church steps in downtown Nashville, 2004

Listen to audio version

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


  1. So glad you included the audio of this, Ami! Great delivery!

  2. I never personalise somebody's writing, but I just can't help it here. Did you really do it??? It sounds deliciously naughty!!!

    I can't listen to the audio, as I am in the office...just came over to check email. My internet is still off at home!

  3. Ha, Padmavani! Yes, indeed, this is a "true" story! My Nashville family (Minton Sparks, Ross Falzone and Kelly Falzone), Sonia Tetlow, and I threw down on those church steps like we were supposed to be there! There's nothing quite like the thrill of doing something a bit naughty! And in this instance, we laughed about it for days. Good times!

  4. smiles. sounds like a fun time...i have played the ask for forgiveness later card before...great audio clip...really i am learning from you...

  5. Aw, thanks, Brian! I'm learning from you as well!