Rock and Roll Stops the Traffic

We had the weekend to ourselves. Thank the in-laws. So we pushed the coffee table aside and pulled the futon mattress to the living room floor. We shut the blinds. Someone knocked, and we didn’t answer. We watched two X-Files. All this and Martin Luther King, a conversation punctuated in question marks, before 6 o’clock.

Dinner in town was on a balcony. A friend was seated behind me, and I got to tell her I love her. I was cold. The bands were beginning to tune up. The night lights were on. Unbuttoned sweaters, Autumn’s flags. People in droves were parted by an Ozark wailing train, night harmonica.

Then we visited friends in a their stone house, old with great door knobs, creaky floors. She served wine in a slim juice cup. Tibet was on the walls, in the rug, the blood. We looked through crates of vinyls. We played Springsteen, ran our fingers over the Beatles, talked Dylan Poetry.

We were beautiful, who we like ourselves to be. Some people bring the silver out in you, remind you the feet were made for gold, the mouth for music.

No politics, we render to Caesar only what is due. This is the time of life that Jesus healed the chopped ear, put his hands down swiftly on the one with the sword. What’s a prophet without an ear? Outside is America, says Bono. We listen. We want Africa.

Today you are thirty-three, husband. Today you follow Jesus like somebody just out of desert. But you don’t have to hang on any cross, though you still carry it and sometimes me. You wash me with WORD, right music. You make me want rattle and hum. We’ve become kin in Revolution.

Happy Birthday to my Lover, my Prophet, my Music Man.

About me


Soutthern Gal
Reply October 25, 2010

Happy Birthday to your husband.

I love these words: "But you don’t have to hang on any cross, though you still carry it and sometimes me."

Jane Anne
Reply October 25, 2010

Sounds like a beautiful weekend. Happy Birthday, Seth!

Matt Brock
Reply October 25, 2010

Here, Here.

I love hearing such words from one spouse about another. I think it happens in online forums too little. Seth is a sack of grain to the starving.
May 33 be filled with blessings.

Reply October 25, 2010

Wow... now that's a good birthday present. Thanks, Amber. I love you a lot. And thanks for letting me eat pig shoulder, and letting us go to J & L's house, and watching Sci-Fi with me (we'll pretend that I'm really the one who likes X-Files, although it's certainly grown on me over the years).

Brock, I'm glad you said "grain." You've been known to say worse.

Reply October 25, 2010

Always looking out for others.
It's beautiful in you, this Jesus you carry...
Happy Birthday!

Reply October 25, 2010

So glad you got a weekend to yourselves. Happy birthday.

To Think Is To Create
Reply October 25, 2010

We're reading Strength to Love by MLK Jr together. It eats away at things no longer needed, those crusted around the heart.

Happy birthday!

(thanks for the video too...amazing)

Reply October 25, 2010

I believe I'll just pocket those words you used to tell of a delightful night of slim wine and soulful tune. "Some people bring the silver out in you, remind you the feet were made for gold, the mouth for music." Honey, you bring the silver out in me!

Reply October 27, 2010

This was a breathtaking piece of writing. It made me think about how much I love my own spouse, how desperately needed "our" time is. We pull our mattress out when the little man goes to GiGi's, and we watch the giant flat screen that resides in the living room. Our mattress is already on the floor (remnants of co-sleeping with an infant...that's now four...but a NEW infant will be in bed in six short weeks!), so it's not a huge move. I love that you do the same thing we do when the babes are away!

Ann Voskamp
Reply October 28, 2010

You Haines give the best gifts -- wine words.
You are the best gifts.

Keep handing out the grain, my brother and sister.
You feed many and me.

Reply November 1, 2010

this makes me want to marry seth.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *