God Save our Country

(1-2 June 1993) after Oliver Wendell Holmes

It needs saving. The people who used to live here?— we have murdered them and destroyed their cultures as well as we were able; we have drained wetlands; we have damned and diverted rivers; we have cut down forests; we have driven animals to extinction; we have strip-mined hills; we have paved over valleys for our cities and roads; we have introduced exotic snakes and birds that lay their eggs in others’ nests; we have grazed our cattle on land that cannot support their numbers; we have built our homes on floodplains; we have broken all the rules— idolatry, blasphemy, sacrilege, murder, adultery, thievery, dishonesty, gluttony, cruelty, selfishness, greed— accumulating a fabulous wealth that is steadily eroding in the decadence of our convenience and privilege.