“Do not ask me when I came

To this place,”

Said the woman with no face.

“I was sent here,

I had no choice but to



to glide

and still I descend.”


Tucked within the folds

Of society there are

Givers and Takers


In creases too deep

To iron straight

The fabric is

No bigger

Nor is it new

Than the day the

First snow fell

When the earth was a child,

Cooing into the




“I gave him my money,”

She said as she pressed

Her handkerchief

To her lips.

“His chest puffed out


and his fists

were in charge

of my perception

of who he was.”


They took what they wanted

These gave what they could

When the giving was


These too

Followed the way

Of no more.


“We gave him

our trust

wrapped in small hands

and hugs


meant to squeeze

the dark from his heart.”

Said she. And he,

“I wanted his insides

to fall

on the floor

and to mend the tears

that were

bleeding him dry.”


The little ones

Wrapped up their hope

Attached it to a rope

And threw it over the side

They watched

As the ocean

Of their innocence

Sucked it away

But they could not


And were dropped

Into the fray.


“He took my heart,


I offered it first

in the palm of my hand

in the center of my glove,”

Her words are

Heard through

Lips of wood

Dried up

From kissing


Who sucked the

Softness from her


“I stood in the shadows

and lifted him high

like a marionette

hanging from the sky

above his frame

until the day

he bundled his life

and tiptoed away

and I like a cat


a stray.”


Each Giver

Cascading down

With souls like


Beautiful and

Giving life

To the bodies above

And will again

To the bodies below

Upon their arrival.


The Takers

Whose hands press

Hard against the Givers’ backs

Are milling about at the top

Of the hill

Wallowing about and

Will be there still

Taking and taking and


Until . . .


“We journey with

hearts that are heavy,

it’s true,

but we do not regret

the debt we’ve accrued.

To give

is to abundantly live

and the magic of


is to be filled


with all that we have

given away.”


If you wander through

An open place and

Hear behind you

The gliding of

The Givers

Stop and

Turn around and

Bear witness

To their



copyright Jill Szoo Wilson


(Photo credit: German painter Heiko Müller’s piece, Snow Daze. )