The neighbors have been
which is to say their house was paid off years ago
and then Gloria took out a second mortgage to help a family member in trouble
and then she died of pneumonia
and her survivors fell behind
while the bank crept ahead
and there was drug addiction and fighting
and now they are throwing in the towel
and so the possessions they will not take
are being dumped
in piles around the run down
built a few decades after our Great Depression grey one.
This morning I sat on our bed
staring at the piles through the cedar boughs
people made trips from the house,
dragging items across the grass.
Each of these houses had a matriarch;
Gloria across the lot,
Annie in this house,
they raised their kids in these houses
sent them off to various wars,
and both women went about the business of dying
in these houses.
I know little about them otherwise,
except that Annie was white and Gloria was black,
and the names of some of their children.
I call up their thirty-two year old selves,
and make them sit beside me on the bed
in the dresses they would have worn in 1939, and 1969, respectively
and I sit here in my jeans and sip coffee in the middle,
and we stare out the window together
contemplating the mortality of