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.
Poem, “When Giving is all We Have,” by Alberto Rios
Born in Nogales, Arizona, in 1952, Alberto Rios has been the Arizona Poet Laureate since 2013. From 2014 to 2020 he served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Holding a BA degree and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arizona, he has been the director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University since 2017.
Ríos has written several books of poetry and prose and is the recipient of several awards. His book titles include, Not Go Away is My Name, The Smallest Muscle in the Human Body, Whispering to Fool the Wind, and the novel The Iguana Killer: Twelve Stories of the Heart. His awards include, the Walt Whitman Award, the Western States Book Award, six Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and fiction, the Arizona Governor’s Arts Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Personal note: The ASU Piper Center for Creative Writing, directed by Rios, included my poem, “Buried Roots,” in their Anthology (2020). 🎉 I had the privilege of participating in a live poetry reading prior to the anthology launch. What an honor! (poem not published on my blog)
Thank you for visiting, viewing, and reading. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season! 💗 Michele
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© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton`