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