The Call From On High - Poem by Ernestine Northover
Come into the Church, the Vicar said,
Otherwise you'll be standing in the flowerbed,
Because outside, there really is no space,
It's filled seemingly by the 'whole human race',
So into the Church I made my way,
To sit, to sing and maybe to pray.
The organ was playing loud and clear,
The volume well up, so easy to hear,
With the choir rendering a psalm or two,
I made my way into a pew,
And knelt in reverence as one should,
Feeling infinitely good.
And as I knelt there all alone,
A sudden noise, or should I say tone,
Came to my ear, a sound well known,
Dear Lord, it was my mobile phone.
I felt my body start to freeze,
Kneeling there upon my knees.
I switched it off with rapid speed,
Picked up a hymn book and began to read,
Trying to ignore the stares,
And even more than that, the glares,
Which penetrated my poor back,
Like I'd encountered a shower of flak.
I edged my way along the seat,
Hoping to make my escape complete,
But suddenly the pew was brimming over,
With aliens from another nova,
Who didn't seem to see my plight,
And that now I was turning rather white.
I had to sit the whole service through,
Well you see, what else could I do,
Stuck up against an embroidered banner,
Dedicated to someone called Hannah,
Who passed away in 1907,
And was guaranteed a place in heaven.
At last the Vicar gave his blessing,
My urge to leave was very pressing,
When were these neighbours going to budge,
It was very hard for me to judge
If they would join the growing queue,
To wish the Vicar 'fond adieu'.
By the time that they had all moved out,
I realised without a doubt,
That I was the very last one to stand,
And to have to shake the Vicar's hand,
Who asked me if my 'call' had come from 'on high',
Have you ever felt you wanted to die.
I tried to laugh it off as best I could,
'You'll come again'? he asked, I said I would,
But without my mobile next time, I think,
He smiled at me and gave a 'wink',
Actually I liked him, he was pretty okay,
So, Yes, I'll go there another day.
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