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A Gift

If I were to give something to you,
What would you like to have?

Shall I give you gold?
You can make – bangles, rings, anklets.
You may then win over your beloved
And make her yours.
You shall enjoy bliss, perhaps.
But gold is robbed.

Shall I give you iron?
You can forge – hammers, axes, chains.
You may then resist the conquistadores
And interrupt their designs.
You shall be free, perhaps.
But iron rusts.

Shall I give you stones?
You can build – temples, forts, palaces.
You may fear not rain or summer heat.
And be secure in their shelter.
You shall have peace, perhaps.
But edifices ruin.

Shall I give you friends?
We can form – alliances, parties, relations.
We shall have wine and dance and songs
And be mirthful.
You shall have joy, perhaps.
But friends die.

I shall not give you any of these.
I shall give you the one gift I have.

I shall give you words.
You can tell - stories, poems, truths.
You can tell me what you think
About love and peace and freedom and joy.
Your songs will be sung forever.
Your words will never perish.

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