I heard the old priest say

When I was young, I heard the old priest say
godless men are evil
Only the hope of heaven and the fear of hell
restrains man’s fallen nature

As I listened, the sceptic in me grew
if tomorrow, there were no god
would all the people in the pews – my grandmother
– the priest himself
turn into cruel, inhuman beasts?

When I left the church that day
I looked at the people streaming out – and knew
whatever path I chose, I’d keep my faith
in human kindness

[I loosely modelled this on Walt Whitman”s When I heard the Learn’d Astronomer]

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