Two Americas

Ben Harstine, M3, Class of 2021

I showed up to group today, a young man in a sweater.

One man was there, tattered sweatshirt and Chiefs ball-cap.

Two others walked in, both gay but not together.

An old man followed, grey hair, torn jeans.

Finally a woman, young and anxious,

joined our little commune.

We all plopped down and starting talking,

problems arose and solutions hopping.

And I realized how wide the gulf,

between the two Americas.

There are two Americas. In one,

a young man builds a happy life and knows no one

struggling to get by. In another,

a young man fights addiction and knows no one

living in a home. In one,

a job comes with trust that a boss will not

be firing. In another,

a job comes with one hand extended

waiting for the pink slip. In one,

addiction is a problem that good decisions

can triumph. In another,

addiction is a lifestyle that now must be

discarded. Two Americas.

Why do I not walk with anyone, living in the other.

Why do I not talk to anyone, waltzing right beside me.

Why are neighborhoods separated, between those with means and others.

Why are social circles punctuated, by invisible lines that only divide us.

Two Americas waiting to be united. Step across

the line and find, life similar beyond it.

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