by Lehana Simon, 23
Lead me lord I will follow
but not through the bushes and on the roads with crack.
Not through the alleys, 1735, nor the rastaman shack.
Perhaps through the green pastures,
and around the church room?
maybe somewhere real far, like Freetown?
Then again, it’s too soon.
Lead me lord I will go,
but I need to know in advance
because my schedule’s already planned.
These new church shoes can’t be walking on dirt, or in potholes.
Suppose I mash two ants?
I’d destroy their home!
But don’t worry I will go.
Actually, something came up,
how about tomorrow ?
You have called me
at a time that’s extremely inconvenient.
And you have a son that you could’ve sent
‘cause it’s quite obvious that your daughter is busy –
name talking and of course deep sin diving.
The person you’ve called is unavailable,
so please, leave a message after the tone.
As a matter of fact, put down the phone.
I will answer.
As long as you call back later.
And I’ll try my best not to let you speak to the operator
And I’ll try my best not to rush you
But you already know that sermons can’t finish minutes to two.
Lead me lord
Down this path.
This one that doesn’t have any bumps or too many curves,
This one right here that’s paved out already,
the one without the word.
I will go
If I don’t go lord, then who?
Am I to walk the long bitter road in this old tattered shoe?
Cause im empty and im tired
And I’m trying to endure and wait for you.
I’m trying to endure and wait for you.
But Lord, I cant talk like them, walk them, or dress like them of old.
I’m not a product of USC, so cant you see I’m not one you got to mold?
So are you going to leave me here in Tarshish?
To endure all the mess that i’ve built?
Are you gonna leave me here to eat with pigs?
Are you gonna leave me here because of that one small fib?
Can’t you see that I stutter in my sins?
And every last one keeps reoccurring again
And every last one keeps reoccurring again.
And I’m just trying endure and wait for you
But could I endure and wait for you?
ABOUT the poem: “The poem was written with the average Christian, or more specifically SDA Christian in mind. Often times persons may profess to be willing and able to fulfill the great commission – to preach and teach about Jesus, but when the time comes, an array of things get in the way – pride, jealousy, or even other responsibilities and commitments. I wrote the poem to remind myself, and other Christians that there is no such thing as the ‘perfect time to share the gospel’ or behave in a christian manner. Rather, every opportunity should be maximized if we are to truly be disciples.” The poem was second placed in the 18 to 35 age category of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize 2020 Challenge.
ABOUT the author: Lehana Simon is a 23 year old daughter of the soil. Like many others before her, writing became an avenue for self expression and reflection. Her poems largely revolve around the complexities of being a Gen-Z female Christian, though she would take inspiration from other themes of life. Her goal is to create pieces that reflect the reality around her, and that would resonate with people everywhere.
ABOUT prizes won:
Prizes – Patrons:
EC$250 – Dr. Hazra Medica; Bath and Body gift package – Juneth Webson (businesswoman and writer – Milo’s First Winter)
Each winner is also set to receive a certificate, a selection of books from The Best of Books Bookstore and cultural items from the Cultural Development Division – Antigua and Barbuda.
For the full breakdown of ‘who won what’, if not linked (yet), use the site’s search feature.
ABOUT Wadadli Pen: The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize launched in 2004 with a writing Challenge that continues 16 years later. It is Wadadli Pen’s pilot project, in keeping with its mandate to nurture and showcase the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda, encouraging writers (and visual artists) in Antigua and Barbuda (35 years and younger) to create a piece on any topic, within a Caribbean aesthetic. In 2020, there was also an Imagine a Future climate change challenge. To support the work of Wadadli Pen, contact email@example.com
Please respect the author’s copyright. If you share, excerpt, credit, and link back; do not republish without permission nor without crediting.