Neighborhoods don't improve.
They get pushed out.
Like a dam with cracks
Crumbs of concrete fall
Mom and Pop Pizza or
The 99 cent store.
We tend to celebrate:
The park is clean,
Now the children can play-
But where are the children the park knows?
Their mothers can no longer afford to pay rent
Because Next-Door Neighbor came from West End
And Next-Door Neighbor wants to repaint
The building to look like the one from which he came
The rent goes up to pay the cost
Up 5% plus a family lost
They love the neighborhood, so intimate, so sweet
So rustic, so ethnic
So goddamn cheap.
It would be perfect, with just a few tweaks:
Is not its buildings.
Nor its boarders.
It is the people who live in it,
Live with it.
Whose cooking have perfumed the air
Whose dollars have been spent at salons and bodegas
Whose children have slaved away at those same stores
To keep their children inside and off the corners.
Their lives do not "improve" -
They do not get to benefit from the safe streets
And renovated schools
It is not their businesses thriving from the new population
They are not "up and coming"
They are not "developing"
In fact -
The only "transitioning" in the lives
Of these unsuspecting Neighbors
Is losing what was once perfectly theirs.