Giving Thanks


November 28, 2019

Today and for this week, a Thanksgiving poem by Alberto Álvaro Ríos a US academic and writer from Arizona. In 2013, Rios was named Arizona’s first poet laureate; and in 2014, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

When Giving Is All We Have

Alberto Ríos – 1952-

One river gives

Its journey to the next.

We give because someone gave to us.

We give because nobody gave to us.

We give because giving has changed us.

We give because giving could have changed us.

We have been better for it,

We have been wounded by it—

Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,

Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.

Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,

But we read this book, anyway, over and again:

Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,

Mine to yours, yours to mine.

You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.

Together we are simple green. You gave me

What you did not have, and I gave you

What I had to give—together, we made

Something greater from the difference.

7 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. GRATIS

    I do not care to give a gift to you.
    They have their traces, gifts do,
    They make marks and they are noted, normally.
    They end up, some way, IOUs.
    I would like this to be snow.
    It is here now when I wake, but wasn’t here before.
    It hovers down and into place without a weight,
    And no tracks trace back to the hand.
    With snow there is no obligation,
    And you cannot keep it.
    Part of it is always left behind.

    10/29/91

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