From Two or Three Guitars: Selected Poems, copyright © John Terpstra, 2006, and reproduced with the permission of Gaspereau Press, Printers & Publishers. John Terpstra has written seven books of poetry, including The Boys, or, Waiting for the Electrician’s Daughter, which was shortlisted for the Charles Taylor Prize.
There used to be giants, and they loved it here. They’d sit their giant hinds in a row along the top edge of the escarpment, and pick at the loose rock with their hands or their feet, then throw or skip the smoothest stones across the bay, to see who could land one on the sandstrip, three miles away; or they’d spring themselves off the scarp top like you would off a low wall, and go running all the way to the end of the sandbar, and jump across the water to the other side, or jump in, splashing and yelling up the ravines, chasing each other’s echoes. This was only a few thousand years ago, and the giants were still excited about the glaciers, which were just leaving; about not having to wear their coats all the time, and what the ice and water had done, shaping and carving this gentle, wild landscape. They loved it here. I’m telling you, they absolutely loved every living minute here, and they regretted ever having to leave.