Emma M.: Poetry Inspired by Field Work in North Portland, 6/30/14

 

A garden hose waters the flowers
on the curb of North Vancouver Avenue.
“I don’t own the place,” she says,
a storefront looming behind her.
Surrounding the signs promising clothing,
shoes, and garden supplies,
are vacant lots, empty houses,
affirmation of a varying past.
The neighborhood faces the change expectantly,
like an audience, patiently observant,
silenced by invisible social cues.
Vancouver used to be two way,
the bike lane is new.
Tenants moved out,
rents expired,
faces withered.
“We do our best to help,” she says

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