“I Am Offering this Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca (repost)

I am offering this poem to you,
since I have nothing else to give.
Keep it like a warm coat
when winter comes to cover you,
or like a pair of thick socks
the cold cannot bite through,


                         I love you,


I have nothing else to give you,
so it is a pot full of yellow corn
to warm your belly in winter,
it is a scarf for your head, to wear
over your hair, to tie up around your face,


                         I love you,


Keep it, treasure this as you would
if you were lost, needing direction,
in the wilderness life becomes when mature;
and in the corner of your drawer,
tucked away like a cabin or hogan
in dense trees, come knocking,
and I will answer, give you directions,
and let you warm yourself by this fire,
rest by this fire, and make you feel safe


                         I love you,


It’s all I have to give,
and all anyone needs to live,
and to go on living inside,
when the world outside
no longer cares if you live or die;


                         I love you.


Jimmy Santiago Baca, “I Am Offering this Poem” from Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems. Copyright © 1990 by Jimmy Santiago Baca.

*originally posted on December 24, 2014

4 thoughts on ““I Am Offering this Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca (repost)

  1. Mike Mirarchi

    What a beautiful love poem! There’s something about the “I love you”s interspersed between stanzas that is so poignant to me. ❤


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