What Else Do I Have to Give Her

Steady as I can
on my wire of awareness,
I carefully balance the images
of children dying in Yemen
with gratitude for my own dear son.
Every ten minutes in Yemen,
malnutrition takes a life, because
besides the daily bombings from Saudi,
food and medicine is blockaded.

I let the picture of the baby
mostly bones, her diaper bigger than she is,
have space to bloom in my mind.
What else do I have to give her?
Only my acknowledgment, my bow.
Gently as I’m able while I sway,
I carry her precarious self
and make my Thanksgiving plans.

Saudi Arabia’s big bro backer
makes sure there are weapons and money
to keep up the bombing and blockade.
Maybe you know the patron government
comes from the country whose settlers
survived, one winter, on the generosity
of the natives whose land they were taking.

As I feast with my friends
and give thanks for my bounty
I proffer to those who hunger,
my essential recognition–
I do not deny you, I see you,
and my prayer that the babies’ bellies
stop throbbing and aching and craving.
May global change in human hearts
connect us into the One
we are surely meant to become.

©Susa Silvermarie 2017



Wopila (wó-pi-la) is a noun in the American Lakota language referring to a sharing and/or a giveaway. It is an offering of giving/sharing, a thanks given for all of existence and a blessing inherent in each moment of it, often used in ceremony, and as a broad statement of thanks within a community. Warfield Moose Sr. says that Wopila in the true Lakota sense means, “everything around you is a gift– and never forget where it comes from, your heart.”

At Standing Rock in North Dakota today, a Wopila feast is being prepared for the water protectors peacefully protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. I offer my thanks for them, and for the dazzling bounty of life on earth. I bow in acknowledgment of the inherent diversity and cooperation which allows life to flourish! And yes, yes– everything around me is truly a gift.