Walking the Walt Whitman

The blades of grass

With veins like mine

Which flow forever, the end of time

Will never come, it flows forever

These blades of grass

Don't grow all over

They grow to a point

Where asphalt meets dirt

Where old meets new

Where metal and bark no longer embrace in soil

But wait, what's this?

A weed grows through the cracks

Of the sidewalk, and beauty it certainly does not lack

The beginning of a walk from New Jersey to Philly

Over the long grey bridge

Where birds hang over head from wires connecting

One side of a river to another side of us,

One side where we start and one side where we finish.

I start in New Jersey, and I finish in the city of brotherly love

Where taxi cabs take the spots of mini vans to and fro

And it's always people going to and fro.

Whether they're going to work

Whether they're buying groceries

Whether they're picking up a friend from the airport

Whether they're driving by me on the bridge.

Where weather and attitudes don't vary like they say they do

Where in reality so many people are similar,

Tied to each other through the hustle and bustle

Lost between each other in the hustle and bustle

Where people see each other but only as an object on its way to work.

But as I continue to walk across the bridge I see green after green escaping

From the tiresome load that was placed on its back

But the roots from a side push through the metal

And grow in secret lines and chains to link them all together

Where the hustle and bustle of street cars

And the men walking over head does not stop them from growing farther over.

All this green which started at one time on one side,

Now crosses over the obstacles to reach the other.

Pushing over to reach each other

Every several blocks, of sidewalk cement

The green pops up

Roots somehow running through pure cement.

And these little leaves, of plants alone

Would never make it, if not for brothers at home

Who reach out under trouble, and branch out to their brother

As he crosses through all of his trouble.

But he is not alone, he passes together

With brethren who connect him to another

Where mini vans and soccer moms

Are always near, but he crosses together

To reach the side of taxi cabs and brotherly love.

And now that I have reached the end

I make a bet with myself.

If they dug up this bridge in fifty years time

They would find a continuous network of roots,

Connecting New Jersey to Philly,

From dirt to dirt though it travels through metal.

Where one side is naturally connected to the other

Where everything there is connected to here.

John Suender, 18, is a senior.