You can’t avoid change by staying in one place. Everyone knows or senses that. Our neighborhood is changing. There are new apartment houses going up just across the creek. An entire block of apartments that will add hundreds of new people. Big changes. Uncertainty.
I pull my feet in and out of darkness
Down the middle of a broad street that can’t be seen.
I stay far away from dark sidewalks,
pathways long broken by tree roots
lifted by the feet and toes of giants
who began their work many years ago
In this old neighborhood of patched houses
A quilt of aged beauties slumbering in the night.
Streetlights some lit mostly not
make deep unmoved shadows of trees.
I cross the old foot bridge over the slow creek
that shelters ducks
and hear the water rolling below and the trees sigh above
Crossing over the bridge I meet
The construction pine smell of newly upright wood
Ribbed bones, vertical, unclad and standing stark against the sky.
The neighborhood-to-be waits behind a chain linked fence.
hard hat signs and warnings
a trailer office with a single light
a watchful eye on open acres
filled with crunching machines squat in the dim light.
Ready to drill, fill and move whatever mountain
needs to appear or disappear.
I turn and listen to the old houses across the bridge
a wind-chime powered world
where the old neighbors wonder
who will come fill the skeleton shells of buildings
with coffee and bacon smells?
Who will come to walk the now naked streets?
How long before their little planted trees
are strong enough
to join their towering, well-rooted cousins across the way?
Will they stay until their houses become homes?
Will they quietly move through lit and unlit walkways
Stopping now and again to listen
to the creek sounds
to cross the bridge at night
carrying potluck meals to the old side of town.