When I asked Saul for a warrior, I had no idea it would be you.
I underestimated your anger in the marketplace. I scorned you

because you were beautiful and softer than the whores of Gath,
a look from which I could not turn or face. I scorned you

as Ishbi-benob watched, my brother with his lack of judgment,
and all the others who haunt that space. I scorned you

after a week of battles, the steady beat of marching and shrill
ram’s horn in my ear. Since I could not chase, I scorned you.

Long has Orpah told tales of the sons of Israel, with flashing
eyes and a stealth no one can trace. I scorned you

because you made me weak in the presence of my troops,
reduced a great soldier to an old man’s pace. I scorned you

when you rattled me in the Valley of Elah. Even when the
stones began to fly, the enduring disgrace, I scorned you.

From Amorous Shepherd (Sheep Meadow Press, 2010) by Dante Micheaux. Copyright © 2010 by Dante Micheaux. Used with the permission of the author.