Life asked us all to dinner.
We found the table spread
with all the bounty life can bring;
a vow all would be fed.
But as we sat and ate awhile,
I saw a curious thing,
the plates that lay before us all,
were not so even filled.
As people turned from side to side,
to check their neighbour's serve,
the eating slowed, and soon was stopped;
each face grew fearful stern.
And then some laughed, began to eat,
devoured at furious pace,
while others put some food aside
to eat another day.
And some could not enjoy at all,
the food which lay before,
so carefully they watched the crowd;
no time for eating now.
One woman sat so far away,
I scarcely caught her eye;
her plate was meagre, holding just
the bare necessity.
Her face was calm, her eye relaxed,
for she had nought to steal;
she savoured slow and steadily
and soon had ate her fill.
And then she rose and bowing slow,
bid farewell to the crowd,
turned and slowly walked away -
I sat and watched her go.
And while I sat it seemed to me
that too much time was spent
as dinner guests, when courtesy
should tell the hour is spent.