I Stand – by Ronda Miller

fullsizerxenderI turn on the water faucet.

Not a day goes by that I don’t

think about how blessed

I am to have running water,

clean water, water to drink,

to cook with, to wash myself

and my clothing, to flush

what my body can’t use

away from me.
we refused them

the last few drops

of water knowing

it was all that was

keeping them alive.
I think about how much water

it takes to fill your body and mine,

and how it flows through us without

our thinking about it.
how much longer

it would have added

to their hearts beating

we had no way of knowing
My dreams are of Water Protectors.

I think how sacred they

are to our way of life,

to staying alive. I feel

the burden, the duty,

the heaviness of carrying water

to crops, to livestock,

to the garden patch.
it was the knowledge

that it added time + agony

to our own days and nights,

not theirs, that we feared.
Sometimes the weight of my own

water is too heavy to carry alone.

Emotions flow through us,

fill our vessels, escape

our eyes as water droplets,

lift as rainbow against autumn sky.
one asked for milk;

how he longed for the sweetness

of the taste.

the connection

of being joined

to his mother

didn’t cross our minds

until he was gone.
I remember the joy of carrying

my children, filled with their own water,

inside of me. And then my water

broke and they carried their water

forward, away from me.

they were able to live because

of breast milk I made from my water.
it was then

we realized

it would not have

made a difference

in his pneumonia;

in anything except

a small pleasure

we had no right to deny.
I watch as the Water Protectors

are hurt by their water,

our water,

as it is used

as weapon

against them.

~ Ronda Miller

Ronda Miller is district president of Kansas Authors Club, as well as state VP of the club. She is a Life Coach who works with clients who have lost someone to homicide. Miller enjoys wandering the high plateau region of NW Kansas where the Arikaree Breaks whisper into the sunset and scream into blizzards and t-storms. Her quote, “Poetry is our most natural connection among one another” best exemplifies her belief in poetry. She created poetic forms Loku and Ukol and co authored the documentary The 150 Reride of The Pony Express. Her books of poetry include Going Home: Poems from My Life and MoonStain (Meadowlark Books, May of 2015).


4 thoughts on “I Stand – by Ronda Miller

  1. When I first read this poem, I told Ronda that it struck a chord. I’ve always felt compelled to do something for 3rd world countries where people walk for miles to acquire water each day. This poem was just what I needed as a stimulus. I quickly logged onto the ELCA (I’m Lutheran) Good Gifts site and purchased water purification tablets to send to a 3rd world country. Someday, I’d love to build a well! This is poetry at its best – it stirs the soul to action. I hope it has the same affect on others as it did on me.

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