The Giantess

My father once told me that

As a child in the mountains

Far from the city

And where the plants feel alive,

That he had once seen

A pile of giant bones

Where they had said that

A giantess once lived.


Then I asked him why

That she was just bones

And he then replied

That the Winter was harsh

And cows had all died

And crops didn’t grow

that everyone starved

And some children had passed

And mothers were crying

So they’d gone to the giant

And asked her for food

So she sawed off her foot

And offered it up

Because a giantess didn’t need to run.


And it fed the whole village

And the village rejoiced

But the seasons still came

And the winter was harsh

and the children still starved

And the crops would still die

And the livestock wouldn’t breed

So she offered her hands

Because a giantess doesn’t need to write.


And they kept coming back

Each winter and summer

Sometimes for the children

Sometimes for themselves

And each time the would take

A piece then another

As she offered

And their need was stronger than hers.


They took her hair for great nets

Her breasts for the young

Her eyes for the old

Her womb for the girls

Her thighs for the men

Her bones for the dogs

Her nose for the cows

And her flesh for the ground .


They took pieces and pieces

As she offered and offered

Sometimes for the children

More often themselves

And sometimes not desperate

They even just sold them

The pieces of her

They’d carved off like meat.


And my father looked guilty

As he told me the story

Of the giantess who’d carved herself up

To be eaten

I asked him what happened

To the giant and the people

And he told me she’d given

Till nothing remained

But that for a moment

When they came for her tongue

That she had asked why

And they couldn’t say

But that they took it regardless

And said it was fine

A girl won’t say no

And if she ever did

Then they’d cover their ears

And no one would hear.

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