I’ve been given too much—haven’t I?
I’ve taken too much—of course.
How many cups of coffee?
How many gallons of gasoline?
How many cows and chickens and trees?
Flights to the other side of the earth.
Feasts on every occasion.
Warmth in every room.
Dante says, “You, although free, are subject.”
I pretend not to know it.
I sleep in the habits of comfort.
It is past time to wake up.
Past time to abstain,
to be a little hungry,
a little cold and grateful
for the modest gifts of the hour.
You are not a god, you American.
You are not special, human of the new century.
One of billions here now,
of more billions behind you
and more billions ahead, all traipsing
under the same delicate atmosphere,
subject to the same finitudes.
Submit graciously to the limits of the earth.
Come to the table of brotherhood.
Look into the eyes of your ancestors,
and the eyes of your countless descendants.
Celebrate with them,
break bread with them,
drink the cold water of wisdom
from the underground rivers of time.
You need less than you think.
A portion of soup,
a portion of laughter,
a song to sing.
Come to the table.
Here there is joy to be had, and nourishment
to remind you of your earliest days,
when your mother provided all in abundance.
Yes, come to the table now.
There is no time to waste.
Everyone is waiting for you.