For centuries we have towered over your kind, wordless but not without voice. You took protection when you needed it, keeping to the shelter of our shadows in winter or in the baking sun. Our arms we lent to fuel your fires and shed our hair to roof your strange domains.

"It's only for a while," you said, and we believed you, for you praised us in your songs and marveled at the sturdiness of our roots. "We will give back all we have taken and see your limbs bent with harvest."

You raised your own among us, and we wondered at the human-saplings who stretched stick-fingers to catch our fruit. It is the coming of the new World, we thought, for never would these children raise a hand to harm us. Your brethren cherish our blossoms and tread on our feet. They breathe nectar on our skins and soothe our arms with promises. It will soon be as you foretold.

Perhaps you were not to blame, for you grew too quickly while we stood with sleepers' patience. We stock our void with memory, though your small lives would make vows easy to forsake. We heard your woes and forgave your humanity, and watched your wiles burst amid our glades like strange berries. You sang your songs, though they were weaker-voiced and shorter-lived. Your children clambered through our hair and scratched our skins, and chased the birds that warmed our hollows.

"Giants," you called to us, wild-haired and full of spirit, "spare our trials an arm – a wizened limb you have no use of – for we are creatures of thought and need to feed our ventures. Give what you can, and we will return to you tenfold."

We gave our roots and sent our flowers for the endeavors we could no longer comprehend. Though you tore our sprouts without ceremony and seldom spoke your gratitude, your fathers' words still filled our hearts with rhythm. The new World would soon rise from its slumber. Our seed would spread to the lands we dared not conquer, and your own children would come again to fill our ears with honey-whispers.

"Soon," you told us, dark-eyed and illegible.

Oh, what wise fools we were to drink your words with savor!

You will speak to us no longer. Your songs are shadows now, echoes that have been eaten by the soil. You find us in the night, slippery as snakes beneath the white stars, and we sleep no longer for fear of your bite. You wear your metals proudly-slung and break our fingers to balance their cruel heads. We retreat into ourselves, but it is too late; there are no more promises to speak of. Your houses (the skins we wore) squat beneath our arms and grin at our age-old gullibility.

(Where now the crop you prophesied, the fruit you spoke of restoring to our barren limbs?

You tear the seed from our raw wombs and use it for your own devices.)

We are weary, and we sleep to cleanse our hurts. Nowadays we dream of times gone by, when ancestor-children wrapped their knees around our trunks and murmured fairytales into our hair.