Sticks and Stones (a poem)

Sometimes it feels like
the world is flooding.
Like God is breaking
her promise,
or more like we’re
breaking it for her.
Some days, all the
bad in this world roars
like one awful giant
made of broken.

Some weeks I wonder
what chance we all stand
against the rising tide
or the thundering colossus.
But every time I’ve almost
resigned myself to us all
being swept away or devoured,
I am startled by the sudden
appearance of good.

Usually it’s just a little thing
a pebble of promise or
tiny twig of goodwill:
a prayer answered,
a positive shift in health,
the rise of an earnest voice,
a stranger’s compassion,
the company of faithful friends,
or a sign of hard won progress,
however slight.
Against giant and flood,
what can a few sticks and stones
like these do?

Except enough sticks
make for a sturdy ark
and a few well aimed rocks
can lay a fearsome giant low.

And every evil ever known
has been undone and overcome
by a little wood and
a rolled away stone.

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2 thoughts on “Sticks and Stones (a poem)

  1. Layton, I think this may be the best poem I’ve ever read of yours. I love the subtle way you redefine sticks and stones–alluding to but never mentioning the nursery rhyme (“…may break my bones…)–to Noah and David and finally the empty tomb. Along the way your line syntax makes for a delicious half-meaning (“I am startled by the sudden…”). Beautifully done.

  2. Pingback: All The Poems I Wrote in Lent | Reverend Fem

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