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.