I Asked the Giantess What She Likes
(for Charlie Two Legs)
and she said she liked the Cassiar
jade from Charlie Two Legs, rough and smooth.
“Only the Skeena River is that color,”
she said,” That glacial till,
reflected Red Cedar green, smoky
She said it reminded her
of Emily Carr painting in Haida G’waii
and over in the Git’san country,
all those greens on her palette,
the way she never felt
she could get the greens right
(leafy green, blue-green, emerald green, lavender,
greenish black, deep cedar/Big
Leaf Maple/Sitka Spruce/ Doug Fir green;
Devil’s Club, Stinging Nettle, Horsetail,
Vine Maple, tag alder green).
Emily Carr knew the secret
of Cassiar jade—how the north
forest cedars and Skeena green
got locked in the stone long before
even the Giantess was born, she
who lived out the Ice Ages
in a sunny cave facing south.
Before any of us, she had her
Cassiar jade, stones in a circle,
dreaming a land bridge,
dreaming a people,
dreaming her own totemic face
high over Alert Bay,
her own mask at the chief’s side,
cedar, jade and Skeena green
her oldest gifts
to the people she dreamed.
“And I also like,” she said,
but I said, “Hush.
I am silenced.