Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Song of the Little Son
By Constance Lindsay Skinner
 
From “Songs of the Coast-dwellers”

  HEAR me! I shout, “Ki-Ki-y!”
See me! I shake my little spear!
I am Leqa-a-to’q, the Little Son—
The strong little, swift little, fierce Little Son of the Chief.
Ki! Ki-Ki-y!        5
When I stamp my mighty little foot, my mother weeps;
She fears me, she trembles;
(Also old Bi’iq, my grandmother.)
The earth trembles, the sea shakes;
My little foot, stamping, rocks all the canoes of the world.        10
The clouds, like screaming windy birds,
Fly, fly before my little willow-bow.
The eagles screech, leaping to the pine-tops,
When they see me fit my sparkling red-feathered little arrow
To my gleaming bowstring.        15
Running on the beach above the glistening bay,
For sport, I shake my tall little spear—
Ok—Ki! see the great shadows on the sea!
Kok-wats-Tyee, old Salmon-Chief,
Beckons with his tail all other fishes        20
And dives to the bottom of the world!
He fears me! Ki-Ki-Ki-y!
 
  Tlet-la, the fisher, calls from his big canoe,
Where my father’s twenty tribesmen paddle,
“O Leqa-a-to’q! Little Son! we pray thee,        25
No longer shake thy frighting spear!
If thou scare all the salmon from the sea,
How shall we eat dried fish when winter dances?
Thy tribe will die!”
Ai!—the sweet smoked fish! I hide my spear;        30
Once more the sea is full of salmon,
Swimming to the fishers’ nets.
I run among the berry bushes,
Crying my fierce “Ki-Ki-y!”—
And laugh to see the wild wolves fleeing.        35
 
  See Me! I jump the highest log—
Ki-Ki-Ki-y!
My stuck-out little fingers pierced the sky!
“Leqa-a-to’q!”……..Who calls?……..
(Ho! ’tis but my trembling mother.)        40
When the beach crawled longly down
To the low sea, at morn,
With my sharp hunting little knife
I killed the fat Father of the Clams!
……“Leqa-a-a-to’q!”… (Ho? ai-ai?… Angrily she calls me!)        45
Farewell, slaves:
I hear the loud voice of the Great Chief’s Great Woman calling,—
The high voice of the Great Chief’s great Little Son’s great Mother.
“Leqa-a-a-to’q—co-omes!”
See Me!        50
Grinding, flashing, my long, white, many, fierce, little teeth,
I run, I run, I run—Ki-Ki-Ki-y!—
To eat my big little supper.
 
 
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