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Poems for Reflection
and Discussion

By Josie Whitehead

By Heart - Heading .jpg

By Josie Whitehead
By Heart

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.

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