oakland, 9 (neighbors)

the truck in the driveway
was an ominous sign

the sound of moving furniture
played all day

i didn’t want it to be true

in the afternoon i ran into
the neighbor in the rear unit
a historic resident
church every sunday
rascally little granddaughter
kind disposition

i asked her what was going on

she said what i dreaded:
that the landlord raised
the rent, yet again
and finally she couldn’t
do it any more

she’d miss having off-street
parking, she said, and a washer
and dryer in-house

she told me we in the house
had been good neighbors
i thanked her for that

what i didn’t do
was apologize to her:
though i’m queer,
khmer, and low-income,
i’m still part of
the new wave of residents
who pushed her out

i bid her farewell
and look at the windows
of her old unit daily
wondering when, as
with the other unit,
some young, straight,
white couple
is going to move in

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One thought on “oakland, 9 (neighbors)

  1. shortnmorose says:

    This is painful. I appreciate your acknowledgement of your own role which makes it even more painful. And I again, I always love the un-judgmental honesty in your poetry.

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