after Walt Whitman
America singing, the varied carols I hear,
those of crop pickers, each one the father the sons the mother singing
a corrido in the making.
the welder yelping metal as if his knuckles hadn’t seen a ton already.
the young actress singing her part behind a red curtain, the
stagehand singing along pushing her through the curtain.
the superintendent singing through an intercom as students take their seats
or students singing the same as they leave for the day.
the truck driver singing radio messages as he waits for other voices on the line—
on endless American highways.
the waiter singing Disney tunes for the kids, eye level
to receive her tip from the humming parents.
the janitor’s mopping song, the boss man’s away for an hour in the morning,
or lunch, or he decided to sing morning blues.
the hungry mothers tune as she cooks handed down recipes by great-
grandmothers who sang it to their daughters, or theirs too,
each singing something meaningful to him or her, or however you plead.
the days no longer live by night and day, but rather breath to breath
hand in hand, raucous by command, silent when needed—
harmonious until treated, these equal tongues sing their American songs.