Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ode, to: The Gentile Giant of Trujillo

Into our sight Uno-grande, the big one came
Over eight foot tall, three-hundred pounds,
Hungry as a greedy hawk, a pale hound!

He came one day—

       I first saw him at eight years old
He was old, not strong shouldered,
Joyfully laboring to steal our charqui—
Hooked onto our clothesline outside
Salted and dried, being prepared for winter storage!
“Never fear,” papa said, “we shall wait for him
Catch him,” papa looked dark and fierce.

Back then, about 1928, we lived outside Trujillo
Nearby, was the wooded countryside…
Where Uno-grande ran blithely to, with our charqui!

His great blue eyes were brimmed
With wild beauty, and calmness, he was harmless!
Tumbled like a clown, when he ran (escaped)
But higher than our house I think…

It was here papa and the neighbors caught him
He had chosen our loft to steal from
Hungry as a greedy hawk, a pale hound!
Old and harmless as a field mouse!…

There he stood, like s ship on a reef
There was nothing to do, the old giant had lost
Most of his strength, age makes a man weak;
There was no violence in him…
He was in fact drowning with exhausted flesh
His laboring days had long past!

I don’t know how he met death, perhaps I
Dreamed it, that he died happy and well…
But Papa and Ma, and the neighbors too
All left food out for him to eat, from that day on,
He surely ate well. And he too: hunched and
Full of happy fury, would leave a deer, or corn
Even a few times—chickens, at our door!

No: 3340 (5-5-2012)

Inspired by Manuel Valera, who during a Saturday afternoon dinner at the author’s home, while sitting around talking with several guests, and the subject being giants, he told the author of his grandmother’s experience, back in the late 1920s…and thus, came the “Ode, to the Gentile Giant of Trujillo.”