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.
Copyright © 2014 by Alberto Ríos. Used with permission of the author.
forget your grandma
these american letters
don’t need no more
but i said
the grandmas are
our first poetic forms
the first haiku
was a grandma
& so too
the first sonnet
the first blues
the first praise song
is a grandmother
a womb that has ended
& is still expanding
a daughter that is
& retroactively living
is your grandma
& you miss her
seeing her again
for a moment
in the realm of spirit
in the realm
& spit & exist
planes of particularity
not easily shook
Copyright © 2021 by Yolanda Wisher. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on November 29, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.