Walked Around the Old Neighbourhood

1 February 2018

Walked around the old neighbourhood
where not much had changed except
the trees are mature and the toddlers
are now swaying teens who took me in
with an off expression, maybe wondered
if I was familiar in a good or worrying way?
When I waved a ‘hi’ they phone bowed,
memories wiped, sneered away at memes.

There’s a shot on the front page today,
of new Syrian refugees volunteering
on a Habitat for Humanity build, sporting
matching t-shirts in the new subdivision.
How tidy everything can be made to feel
if you’d just experience it as a cropped
photograph, with a warm lede, a general
sense that the world is kindly after all.

Ai Weiwei is on PBS again but I’m not sure
we listened the last time round. People,
I’m worried. Concerned. He’s going to
feel ignored. We’ve been at this forever.
Surely some patterns are emerging?
What say we change for a short while
and see how it goes? We can always
revert back if we don’t like how it feels.

Walked around the old neighbourhood.
The dying woman’s house got flipped
and they ditched the ugly sixties shutters
thank god, and gave it a whole new
mid-century modern look. The old guy
that raked his leaves into the curb,
hosed down his driveway? He’s alive.
Waved eagerly. Asked me if I’d moved.

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