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