Robert C. Merriman


You will go to battle in my armor, the king said.
Here is my tunic, which you will wear.
Here is my breastplate of iron and leather.
Here are my sword and shield.
Here is my bronze helmet.
Now, you are invincible.

The tunic did not fit,
Nor the breastplate or helmet.
Sword and shield were heavy to our hands.
But the king said, You must go to battle in my armor.
No other will do.

So we walked from the king’s encampment,
Crossed the brook, in which were
Smooth stones. But we left behind
Staff and sling. We would meet
The patient Philistine giant
In armor that did not fit.