Then Sings My Soul…

There are just some poems that move me to tears. So sentimental, that all those moments from the past just come rushing back. This is the case with, It was the Singing, by Jamaican poet, Edward Baugh. Those nostalgic poems that make you hopeful and tearful at the same time. Tearful because your heart has been full for a while but you never knew how to release the pain, hurt and disappointment that has been piling up and this poem comes along and gives you the grace and permission to finally let it all go. The poem reminds me of the need for community to share with us those burdens we cannot bear alone and a blessing that can be found in the face of tragedy. They contain powerful words that can soothe the soul, and bring us the peace of mind we need even as we grieve.

It was the Singing

It was the singing, girl, the singing, it was
that full my throat and blind my eye
with sunlight. Parson preach good, and didn't 
give we no long-metre that day
and Judge Hackett make us laugh to hear
how from schoodays Gertie was a rebel
and everybody proud how Sharon talk
strong about her mother and hold her tears.
But the singing was sermon and lesson and eulogy
and more, and it was only when we raise
"How Great Thou Art" that I really feel 
the sadness and the glory, wave after wave.
Daddy Walters draw a bass from somewhere
we never hear him go before, and Maisie 
lift a descant and nobody ask her,
but it was the gift they bring., it was 
what they had to give and greater
than the paper money overflowing the collection
plate. It was then I know we was people
together, never mind the bad-minded and the carry -down
and I even find it in my heart to forgive 
that ungrateful Agnes fir everything she do me
and I sing and the feelings swelling in my chest
till I had to stop and swallow hard.
Then sings my soul, my saviour God to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art...
and we was girls again together, Gertie
and me by the river, and then the singing
was like a wide water and Gertie laughing 
and waving to me from the other side.
Girl, I can't too well describe it.
Was like the singing was bigger than all of we
and making us better than we think we could be,
and all I asking you, girl, is when 
my time come to go, don't worry
make no fuss bout pretty coffin
and no long eulogy, just a quiet place
where gunman and drug addict don't haunt,
and if they sing me home like how they sing Gertie
I say thank you Jesus, my soul will sleep in peace.

Published by

Simone

Loves to tell and hear untold stories about people, places and experiences!

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