VALHALLA

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By Alan J. Blaustein

Lighting up on West Street walking summer day
Sunlight in my face and to my right
Seeing more the Hudson than the street ahead.
I expected factories parking lots and bars,
Nothing else than pleasant afternoon,
And then the wonder stopped me seized my sight.

Valhalla? Yes, it was!
Risen in all magnificence from the street
As proudly massive blocks of—stone.
It instantly awed me reduced me to a speck—
For what great purpose could this be?
Home for a breed of freshly risen gods?

I walked beside amazed and looking up
Until I came upon a massive porch
That stretched before great doors of glass and bronze,
Flanked by pillars, granite guards.
A plaque above the doors, all shining bronze,
Proclaimed the name.

Look what the age of heroes has become,
Look how Odin’s dream has re-emerged,
See how the ordinary conquers all,
How wonder can vanish like a wisp of smoke

I saw for what my hall of gods was built—
Manhattan Community College!

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