Friends: I received a beautiful Thanksgiving poem through the “poem-a-day” offering of the www.Poets.org website. I want to share the poem with you.
When Giving Is All We Have
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.
“This is a poem of thanks to
those who live lives of service, which, I think, includes all of us—from the
large measure to the smallest gesture, from care-giving to volunteerism to
being an audience member or a reader. I’ve been able to offer these words
to many groups, not only as a poem but also as a recognition. We give for so
many reasons, and are bettered by it.”
— Alberto Ríos
Born in 1952, Alberto Ríos is the inaugural state poet laureate of Arizona and the author of many poetry collections, including A Small Story about the Sky (Copper Canyon Press, 2015). In 1981, he received the Walt Whitman Award for his collection Whispering to Fool the Wind (Sheep Meadow Press, 1982). He currently serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.