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For what we are about to receive

a poem

Photo of patricia peters
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For What We Are About To Receive


The therapeutic properties of gratitude have recently been discovered.

‘For what we are about to receive,

May the Lord make us truly grateful. Amen.’

Ah! Men in white coats and female researchers have discovered that

being grateful is good for your body and soul.

The soul, whose geographical position is yet to be discovered by

our-men in white coats and those female researchers.


We lied, back then, in the school dining hall, 

when we chanted that prayer.

‘For what’ etc.

‘cause the stew smelt of concentrated pee.

‘For what we are about to receive’.

Tapioca, the next course, looked like a bowl full of sick.

However ,we were truly grateful that we could hold our noses.

Swallow the lumps hard and soft, great and small.


Back then, when the classes were bulging.

Sixty post-war children squeezed into Mrs Lemon’s class.

Out teacher, as sour as her name.

Rapped pupils’ knuckles for talking in class.

Or made them stand for the duration of the lesson.


My mum said that it was that standing 

which gave me my big feet.

‘You’ll never bag a husband

with those pieces of meat!’


For these rather large features.

I’m truly not grateful.

For finding pink high-heels for a wedding occasion,

is virtually impossible in this location.

But I’m truly grateful I bought some in Amsterdam

where the Dutch woman there are as long-footed as I am.


These shoes I have worn to five separate occasions.

As my mother predicted,

I’m always the bridesmaid and never the bride.

Should I then be ‘truly grateful. Amen’?

Yes.! No men!

Amen!


Patricia Peters 16 January 2018



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