The picture told the story: this wisp of a girl defiant against the armored clad Goliath Towering above her, An illustration from the Book of Kings.
This orange-coated giant Went out from Israel, The land of the Philistines, To slaughter the Palestinians.
And he stood six cubits and a span Above those clustered about their homes. And he had treaded greaves about the knees, Sheets of steel about his shoulders, And shafts thrust forward To hold his spear, the blade of death.
All who saw him fled in terror Save this gentle girl, Who held God’s voice in her megaphone. Did she see the tight curl of his lip As he sat in his judgment seat And she stood in the shadow of death?
Did he, when his day was done, Hose the blood from his blade? Did he lean against his protective armor And gaze at the setting sun? Did he go home that night And place his yarmulka beside the door? Did he greet his wife with a loving kiss, And grasp his daughter tightly to his breast? And did she, in fear, plead “Be gentle, dear”?
William Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His new book, Psalms for the 21st Century, was just published by Mellen Press. He can be reached at: cookb@ULV.EDU