In Sunday school we learned how David fit
a river-smoothed rock into his sling.
Hurled it at Goliath. Struck the giant’s head
so hard the stone burrowed into his brow
and he fell dead to the ground.
Bernini chiseled physique in action.
A white marble warrior fiercely determined
to do or die, not some bland-faced,
beefcake boy. Look at this David’s face:
Lips compressed. Jaw clenched.
Eyes lasered on his target. Look at
this David’s body: right arm stretched
behind, fist clutching taut sling straps.
Torso coiled, a catapult ready to release.
A killing machine frozen in time.
There is sequel to the statue’s static moment,
a segue from battlefield to green pastures,
from soldiering for shepherding. David
put down his sling, picked up his lute,
sang praises to The Eternal for all eternity.
Friends, my words here are no paean to
a Whatever There Is, if a Whatever There Is is.
This poem is no psalm; it is a stone I fling
into the air at no particular target. People,
I’m aiming to stun the sensibilities of the world.