I've been haunted by this poem since I read Jim Moore's book at Fripp, what it says to me--an American, a mother, a woman, a human being with a propensity for selfishness.
On the Train To Venice
The first and least important mistake
was to take the train on Sunday, September 1st,
the last day of vacation for millions of Italians.
Though the train was packed,
we had thought to bring sandwiches.
We ate while everyone around us—sitting, standing,
filling every possible inch of floor space—
went profoundly silent and watched
as if we were demonstrating a new technique
for brain surgery, one never tried before,
gone horribly wrong.
Not long after we finished, out of nowhere
came water, sandwiches, and fruit,
every last bit of it offered all around,
especially to those who had brought
nothing with them. Such kindness
and pleasure, such gratitude, except
on the part of the two Americans
who had eaten their fill alone,
in silence, as if the world was empty
of everything but themselves.