In His Arms
By Gabriella Brand
"In His Arms", was inspired by Sleeping Giant State Park, in Connecticut.
Our sleeping Goliath lies on his back, with a deep gorge neck and a trap rock belly.
He’s scrawny, as giants go. Nothing like you’d see in Utah or Wyoming.
Just a few miles long from head to heel, and seven hundred feet high at his left hip.
But from his volcanic loins, you can see the gray waters of Long Island Sound, the gothic spires of New Haven.
He’s a Leviathan of legend, at least around here. Let’s climb the Giant. Even children say it.
He’s not the scary sort. Unless you do something thoughtless, like disturb the timber rattlesnakes he keeps in his pockets.
He’s more like a dozing grandpa, the kind who lets you to scramble onto his lap or play on his knobby knees.
That’s not to say he can’t be difficult.
Sometimes climbers fall, perish even, as they hoist themselves up a slippery rib or belay off his chin.
But mostly our Colossus is mellow. Peregrine falcons nest, undisturbed, on his forehead.
Did I mention that his cranium is balding, where an old quarry once stood?
On Sunday mornings, when the city itself slumbers, I pay my respects to this stately elder.
With my walking stick in hand, I follow a quiet trail,
When I find a flat ledge with a view, I stop and sit. And there I think about seismic rifts, the upheavals of human history, the pebbled problems of my own life.
The Big Man has seen it all.
From down in the valley, I hear church bells. I picture the pious folks heading into pews.
But I too, am in a sacred place, cradled comfortably in the Giant’s arms.
Gabriella Brand’s short stories, poems, and non-fiction have appeared in Room Magazine, Poetry Breakfast, The Blue Line, StepAway, The Christian Science Monitor and in many anthologies. One of her poems was featured in the latest anthology called District Lines from the Washington,D.C. bookstore Politics and Prose. Gabriella divides her time between Connecticut, where she teaches foreign languages, and The Eastern Townships of Quebec, where she hikes and canoes. She has done several solo walking treks, including the 1500 kilometer path called the 88 Temples of Shikoku, Japan as well as the Camino de Santiago. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Visit her website, gabriellabrand.net