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


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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