“I contain multitudes.” –Walt Whitman
I am a man of two time periods:
That which came before
And the present.
With one eye, I can see
Everything as it once was,
While, with the other,
I see everything as it is now.
Most people may find this a source of confusion,
But I rather enjoy it,
For it offers differing perspectives
As well as provides a visual timeline
Of the changes that have taken place
Between then and now.
Somewhere deep within America’s heartland,
The farmer tills his soil,
Planting seeds for the upcoming harvest
And letting his cattle out to pasture.
Elsewhere, the whir of machinery,
Symbols of ingenuity and progress,
Bring to life the factories of the North and the Great Midwest.
Here, the workers toil all the day long,
Their bodies glistening with sweat and axel grease
Until the shrill whistle blows,
Bringing about a much-needed respite
And quitting time.
In the fabled cities of the East,
Subway cars rumble beneath the surface
While aboveground, the huddled masses go about their daily affairs
Without so much as a care in the world.
This vast mosaic
Is truly a work of art,
A thing of beauty the likes of which
The world has never seen.
It is all around me,
Yet within me at the same time,
Protected and enveloped
By a blanket of stars and stripes.
© Chester Sakamoto