Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Extra Ones: A Saturday Poem


The Extra Ones


We are told that he chose five smooth stones.
Young, and ruddy faced, in 1 Samuel 17:40.
I would have imagined jagged ones to cause
Greater cranial damage, but who am I?
This sling was not even the type you draw back on.
It was the kind you whirl about your head.
I know, because there was an artist’s rendition
In the book my mother read, as my eyes fell shut.

So an army cowers, as the boy runs forward,
Taunting this oaf! “This day the Lord will hand you
Over to me.” He kicks the dirt and spits, “And I’ll
Strike you down and cut off your head.” Shaking,
He shouts at a helmet that weighs more than him,
“The birds shall eat you,” placing a stone in the pouch.
Philistine laughter shakes the very rainclouds
Loose over the heads of Israel, as the air sings.

And what I love most is not the part where he cuts
Off the head. Nor even the part where Saul asks,
“Whose son are you, young man?”
I love the fact that David took four extra stones.
Ones he did not know he did not need.
The scene that is not illustrated in any bedtime book,
And the sound, ping-ping-ping-ping, on that helmet,
As the Philistines run for the hills.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2008

6 comments:

stefanie said...

Ah, this is fantastic! Doubt and courage, the extras just in case. Beautiful.

Beth said...

Wonderful content and imagery.
I'm intrigued by the fact you took note of the four extra stones. We had Bible stories read to us, too (I still have the book) but I missed that detail.

cipriano said...

Thank you for reading me, Stefanie and Beth.
It has always been a story that intrigued me, David & Goliath.
Do either of you ever recall a show on TV on Sunday mornings [when we all should have been in church]... it was called Davey & Goliath? And Goliath was this goofy dog that talked?
Oh, I LOVED that show. Loved it!

Melanie said...

I love the last few lines. That should have been in my bible story book!

stefanie said...

I loved Davey and Goliath! I didn't get to see it much though because as you say, it was on when we were supposed to be in church and my parents unfortunately usually made sure I was in church.

cipriano said...

Thank you, Melanie.
My vision was of the young David, standing over Goliath's helmet, just dropping the remaining stones on the thing.... sort of like.... "Didn't even need these."

Stefanie.... it was a great program wasn't it?
I used to wake up early and rub some #4-grain sandpaper on my forehead till I was bleeding and then feign a fever so I could stay home and watch Davey & Goliath!