Guest Contributor | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

08.13.21 | Community, International, Pulpit Posts, World

            I am away on vacation as you read this, so please enjoy this poem and a brief explanation if it by Dakota poet and English Professor Gwen Westerman:

Give-Away Song
This is my give-away—
                  not because I don’t want
                  it anymore,
                  not because it’s out of
                  style or
                  broken or
                  useless since it lost
                  its lid or one of its buttons,
                  not because I don’t understand
                  the “value” of things.
This is my give-away—
                  because I have enough
                  to share with you
                  because I have been given
                  so much
                  health love happiness
                  pain sorrow fear
                  to share from the heart
                  in a world where words can be
                  meaningless when they come
                  only from the head.
This is my give-way—
                  to touch what is good in you
                  with words your heart can hear
                  like ripples from a pebble
                  dropped in water
                  moving outward growing
                  wider touching others.
                  You are strong.
                  You are kind.
                  You are beautiful.
This is my give-away.
      Wopida ye.
            Wopida ye.
                 Wopida ye.

“‘Give-Away Song’ honors our Dakota value of generosity and sharing whatever we have with those around us. This poem is also a response to the missionaries and Indian agents who often reported that our ancestors did not know the value of things that the government provided them—blankets, flour, meat, food, tools, other supplies—and that when those goods were distributed, the people would immediately share with others who did not have as much as they did. But I think our ancestors did know exactly the value of things and that value only comes when you can share.” — Gwen Westerman

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

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