Monday, January 25, 2016

A Poem: The Toddler's Mass

The Toddler's Mass


Emily Woodham

I skip across the parking lot
While Mommy holds my hand,
And when I hear the bells chime
I jump in a puddle grand.

My mother sighs, "So muddy . . ."
But I jump again with cheer,
For Mass is going to start soon
And all my friends are here!

Through heavy wooden doors we enter,
My brother and brother and me
With Mommy and sister and brother
And not far behind, Daddy.

We walk all down the hallway,
While my shoes go clickety-clack
Till we finally reach the glass doors
Of the narthex, the very back.

I run right to the font
Which holds the Holy Water.
On tippy-toes, I splash, splash, splash,
Then bless myself as I totter

I twirl and kiss the angel
That kneels beside a table
From which I snatch a prayer card.
(I think it’s of St. Abel.)

Before we go to where we sit,
First kneel, all of us must
And make a sign with our hands
For in the Cross we trust.

In silence, we say a prayer,
As for music, we await,
But I begin to sing tra-la,
Just a bit for Heaven’s sake.

Then at last the organ
With merry notes resounding
Heralds the processional,
I think it’s quite outstanding.

I wave to Deacon and to Father,
I squirm to join the troupe,
I almost make it down the aisle,
But Mommy does a swoop.

Back in the pew,
A Kyrie, a Gloria, some prayers,
Then with a book by the altar
Three people go up stairs.

With a thanks to God, the first speaks,
I rather can’t understand him.
Mommy bounces me on her lap.
I think it’s kind of random.

The other person starts to sing,
We give her back a tune.
I want to play with Daddy’s hair,
But Mommy stops me soon.

I crawl over Mommy’s lap,
I play follow the leader.
I travail over Daddy’s, too,
There is only one more reader.

I skip over a brother,
Then next brother o’er I scamper,
I make it o’er the brother beside,
But big sister, my leaving hampers.

Sister puts me on her hip,
She tells me there to stay,
Or to Mommy I will go.
(I only want to play.)

Alleluias start
From the cantor and the choir,
Deacon lifts the scarlet book,
A story of Jesus to inspire.

I’m getting rather antsy,
Or so my mommy thinks,
She takes me to the narthex,
With paper and washable inks.

While Father gives a teaching,
I walk up to Michael my friend,
I sit beneath his statue,
And look at the dragon’s end.

Then I peer over at the window,
Where Jesus holds up Bread,
His friends are gathered around Him,
I rather like His robe of red.

More prayers and little bells begin.
It’s very important here,
When Father holds the round Host up,
Mommy says, “It’s Jesus, dear.”

I wave to Jesus and to Father,
I blow a kiss up above
I try to scramble out to help,
But Mommy says, “No, no my love.”

We hold hands to pray a prayer
Which Jesus Himself said
I like this part the very best
And swing my legs o’er my head.

We give each other a kiss, kiss, kiss,
We tell each other, “Peace.”
I want to run around to kiss some more,
but Mommy says to cease.

Then up on my Mommy’s hip,
We walk up front with ease,
Father puts his hand upon my head
And blesses Pumpkin (me).

Mommy takes Bread on her tongue,
Then from a chalice sips,
She makes the sign of the Cross,
And whispers with her lips.

We go to where we all sit,
Mommy wants to kneel and pray,
She points to Mother Mary,
So I throw my bear, hurray!

Mommy points to Jesus,
Who is on the Cross for us,
I tell Him that I love Him,
and I promise not to fuss.

I escape at last from the pew,
Mommy says we should stay and sing,
But I’d rather dance in the back
With my skirt all swirling.

I run right back to Michael,
When Mommy says it’s time to go,
I blow him a kiss and wish him well,
Mommy says, “Please don’t be slow.”

She doesn’t understand
I need to say good-bye to Mary
And to Joseph and to Jesus
I'm not trying to be contrary.

My sister runs to Mommy,
Who scoops me up with a kiss,
We splash, splash, splash in the water,
Then I leave the Church in bliss.

©2016 Emily Woodham

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