Friday, January 18, 2013

Change in the Neighborhoods

I drove down the street the other day
just south from Disneyland.
The signs on the markets were

sanskrit, when did it transform?
Reminded me of another time
I had a doctor’s appointment

in a place where my best friend
from high school moved after she
married, but now it looks like little India

faces peer out from the stores
women adorned in sari’s and veils,
foreigners who now call this city home

In my own neighborhood,
once inhabited by professionals,
then one by one the houses sold

a new group moved in, now claims
to be the majority, and on their holidays
their flags fly beside the red, white, and blue.

As populations shift, people
from different countries with different
ideologies, congregate in tight

groups in neighborhoods once filled
with people who looked more like me.
I’ve become the stranger in my own land.

In American history, land was stolen from
the Native Americans by the Spaniards
then by people coming west in wagon trains.

Land ownership is vulnerable
when new waves of immigrants arrive
however friendly their faces may seem

how deep into our systems will their leaders
submerge, will the choices they make
benefit every citizen or will they skew

the results to promote their own agenda?
Sometimes a chill runs down my back
realizing change is the only constant

will we learn to live together in peace?

Is it really a small world after all?

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