The Frustrating Mistake

A Poem By Edith // 6/23/2007

Tonight while singing the “Salve Regina” as I sat in the fourth pew
In front of me I heard a young lady; she sang and went flat, that I knew.
It went on and on, HOW out of tune it was! She just wouldn’t stop
Then she HAD to swing her rosaries against the kneeler with a “clop-clop”.

So I turned and I switched positions and counted my wooden beads,
I couldn’t take it any longer, so I prayed “Oh God, shut her mouth, puh-lease!”
Now it was the third mystery and I wanted the lady to go
But she would just keep singing. I guess she didn’t know…

Fourth mystery; I decided to get some air, so I genuflected and went outside
I accidentally rushed so into the altar boy, we almost did collide.
Well there it was, the cool air with the moon light and stars shining,
It was all fine and dandy until I heard singing, it sounded like whining.

Oh! For gosh sakes, did she have to start that racket NOW!?
Is it possible for a human to sing so out of tune? Well then HOW!?
Then I looked at my watch and decided it was time to return,
Though the young lady’s voice was most bothersome – I had yet to learn…

So I opened the doors to the Chapel and knelt back down again
I heard the thunder just in time; it had now begun to rain.
It was the Fifth Mystery… and as I listened closely, I found myself shed a tear
It was not the woman in front of me who sang in the wrong pitch, I fear.

How erroneous I was, how mistaken, how selfish, how rude I had been
Saying the rosary yet thinking cruel thoughts – those two don’t mix, for I was in sin.
Then I turned my head, and found a sight to see, an old woman deep in prayer,
She sat in a wheelchair, rosaries in hand, and a mantilla on her hair.

Why was it that once I saw her face and saw her sing the Latin,
It was less out of tune, as she sat there in white and black satin.
Not a muscle moved, only her fingers upon her rosaries and her lips with the song,
How mad I felt. I did not care about the tears in my eyes. I had done wrong.

The more and more I heard those words, “Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.”
I felt differently to this sound I once thought dreadful, now my heart made room.
“Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.”
Those were the words I lost all along, now I understood; now they meant the truth.

“Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,” She sounded like an angel now!
“nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae.” Is it possible for a human to sing so beautifully? How?
“In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.” I ended with such love
The old woman smiled and patted my head, and she lifted her head and looked above.

Now I sit here as I write this poem, never think ill or assume - a little story I had to tell,
Those singing in the wrong pitch you might here at times, they really sing quite well!
Their voices are more beautiful than those we think are greater
So never make the mistake I did, you will find out where you went wrong sooner or later.

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