Train up a child in the way he should go and when he gets old he won’t depart from it.
On a bright Sunday morning, before the sun has awakened from its twelve-hour slumber, find little girls in frills,
Little gentlemen in neckties coats and trousers,
Can’t be late for Sunday school.
Big, blue innocent eyes eager to learn what their Sunday school teacher has to tell,
Gullible minds that once were a blank slate now slowly being colored with the imprints of biblical tales told to them.
“Good morning children, take out your bibles and let’s begin.”
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The land, the sparkling seas, the moon and the stars,
Fashioned the planets, Earth, Jupiter and Mars.
But the most astounding creation of them would be,
The beautiful islands that border the Caribbean Sea.
Once untouched by the harshness of civilization,
God’s most perfect creation.
Oh! how the creator took his precious time,
And made the Caribbean absolutely divine.
Precious metals of gold and silver,
And fertile soil to plant King Sugar.
“Learn this verse, dear children I say,
For you will all be asked to repeat it next Sunday.”
Each child then repeats in a unified chorus: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The teacher then finds another verse,
Another from the book for them to rehearse.
“Go out and make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Go out into the uncharted oceans and capture those who are polytheistic,
Those who worship Zemis and Tlaloc,
Those who offer sacrifices in the name of Huitzilopochtli,
Make them your slaves.
Let vicious dogs rip apart their flesh and hang them upon trees,
One, two, three… thirteen at a time, in the name of Jesus and his twelve disciples.
“Children, repeat the scripture verse for this Sunday,
Let it always be with you forever and always I pray.”
Obediently, the children lustily repeat: ” Go out and make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
“We are not finished yet for this Sunday,
For here’s a lesson to take with you each and every day.”
The children begin to get a bit restless.
Girls pulling on their long blond tresses,
Groans of irritation the boys unashamedly expresses.
“How great would be the reward in heaven of the ones who would go amongst the unsaved peoples
To teach them the right way,
Great is the harvest but the laborer are few.”
“It is your calling to save the heathen,
For great is your reward in heaven for those who decide to take on this heavy burden.”
Let them eat their own feces and amputate their arms and legs,
For they are nothing but low-class dregs.
Hang them on meat hooks, sever their Achilles heel,
For they are nothing but beasts and cannot feel.
“With this lesson we must end for today,
And I pray you return to Sunday School next Sunday.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 18. Antigua State College student. Andrecia’s story ‘Strange‘ tied for third place in the 13-17 age category in the 2017 Wadadli Pen Challenge.
ABOUT THE POEM:
“A very thought provoking poem.” – judge
“The literary piece is showing how religion and the bible was used to justify slavery in the Caribbean.” – Andrecia
PRIZES WON: As with all the honourable mentions, Andrecia received a training session (Presenting: Telling Your Story Orally) from Barbara Arrindell & Associates, and books and a certificate from the Best of Books.
ABOUT WADADLI PEN 2018: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 14 years later. The project was launched by Joanne C. Hillhouse with D. Gisele Isaac and the Young Explorer publication. Today, its core team is Hillhouse with past finalists Devra Thomas and Margaret Irish, and writers and long time patrons and partners Floree Whyte and Barbara Arrindell. The name of each winner is emblazoned on the Alstyne Allen Memorial plaque, named for one of the project’s earliest volunteers (and sister-friend of founder, Joanne C. Hillhouse) who died in 2015. The Challenge is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda. The Challenge has encouraged young writers in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to write on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. It doesn’t often prescribe other limitations, but this year it did request specifically historical fiction/poetry. Normally, prizes are broken down by age categories but this year it’s winner take all with only one winner and a handful of honourable mentions (Andre Warner, Rosie Pickering, Andrecia Lewis, Chloe Martin, and Ava Ralph). Congratulations to them all. Thanks to the patrons and to partners – Floree Whyte, Barbara Arrindell, Devra Thomas, and Margaret Irish. To find out how you can continue to support the work of Wadadli Pen contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As with all content (words, images, other) on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure). All Rights Reserved. You can also subscribe to and/or follow the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks. And remember while linking and sharing the links, referencing and excerpting, with credit, are okay, lifting whole content (articles, images, other) from the site without asking is not cool. Respect copyright.