How odd to look across the way and note
the Hymans, neighbors for a generation,
are gone. Strange not to see a glimmer of light
in any window as I pass by, or Ida, bent and wiry,
climbing her stoop with a bag of groceries,
or tending the doctor, neatly dressed, asleep in his chair
on the porch, his light dimmed by a succession of strokes.
I was shocked when Ida called to say she sold
the building: two stories high, smooth gray brick,
solid as a bank. Then, one day, the big truck came,
Thirty years gone. Just like that.
from Waiting for the Alchemist
© Louisiana State University Press