Poems for Reflection and Discussion
By Josie Whitehead
We used to learn so much by heart
When I was but a child.
To learn some things, I understood,
But prayers? This made me wild.
I asked myself: 'Why speak to God
Through someone else’s words?'
He understands my own clear speech
And that of beasts and birds.
I’d sit in church with Mum or Dad
Reciting words I’d learned.
Did God hear me recite these words?
Was He also concerned?
The thing which I remember most
Was confirmation day.
Dressed all in white, with veils on heads,
We assembled on display.
The Catechism had been learned –
We knew just what to say.
We’d learned it off by heart you see,
Especially for this day.
The bishop came with shepherd’s crook,
His mitre and his gown.
We silly giggling teenage girls
Caused everyone to frown.
The reward for learning things by heart
Was to share the bread and wine -
But now I am a Methodist:
No prayers to learn – that’s fine!
Copyright on all my poems
PS The Lord's Prayer is my exception, of course. How I hate it that in our church many of the words have been changed, ie 'updated' to modern English.