On Mondays, I write psalms. This Monday, though, I was out of pocket and didn't return to said pocket until today. So, I suppose I'm making up for lost time. In any event, I've thought a great deal about Jesus' words to Israel, how he said he'd like to gather them under his wing like a mother hen gathers her chicks. I was in junior high the first time I heard this expression and thought it odd. I know the phraseology had some different connotations to the first century Hebrew, but I'm neither Hebrew, nor do I live in the first century, so you'll have to pardon me as I explore other options.
Psalm #5 Gather me less like a chick under wing, that I might reckon you less like the plumped hens that populated my great-grandmother's free range outside the old Rock House.
Easy pickings for fox and hawk are hens. Easy pickings for snake and coon are eggs.
Gather me more like the egg-toothed alligator young, a hatchling jewel in his mother's armored brow; teeth bared you are the dread of the simple evil, who would use my skin for commerce.
Gather me more like dew in Lactrodectus' wadded web, like diamonds in the den of the black widow. You sometimes sleep just beyond sight, but always wake in the slightest stirring.
Gather me, maybe, like light years, like stars of my better most thankful days when I recounted nothing but the shine, and was collected in telescopes of men.
Gather me less like a hen, yes, but gather me always into the collection of finer things you call yours.