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.