Put on the full armor of God…

You loosened your belt,
let truth slide to the floor.
You slipped off your sweater,
threw it in the corner.
Your feet were bare and prone to slip,
legs uneasy, head dizzy…
What if you’d been wearing a helmet?
What if you had had a sword
to wave at that demon who lured
you toward the window,
who promised it would be best
this way, to kick out the screen,
to feel the cold air from seven floors up,
your blonde hair streaming in the wind?
What if you had known your opponent
wanted it this way, to beat you
in the battle? You had no armor,
no defense against the quiet, sudden
decision to leap. Tank top, underwear,
bare arms and legs sailing
among all of the other small,
unique, beautiful, irreplaceable
snowflakes in the dark winter night.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against the authorities, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

One thought on “Defenseless

  1. Just lovely. From so far away, I am shocked to hear that something so terrible would happen at a place I hold so dear. Thanks for your writing… it helps me conjure up a different picture than what has been haunting me for the past couple days.Miss you!


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