Neighborhood before and after gentrification. Illustration by Robert Warren

The thought of the day: How many people have moved away looking for greener pastures, in that old town across the river, with the one sit-down restaurant in town that usually closes before sun down. My old auntie had a home in that old town, and we used to stay there in summers gone by. I often wondered why? Maybe she was helping her little sister with childcare for a good price. The general store was right there 

They went a long way in keeping us up to date with the big-time town across the river. People say it’s totally gentrified today; all the older Black folks have moved away. Some say they couldn’t afford to stay. Displacement is not a crime, so they say, but I wonder who ‘they’ are?  

Greater Greater Washington wants to sing another song about all those who have gone away and say they left for greener pastures, across the river, in that old town…that now has two sit-down restaurants and a new 7-Eleven on the way. I heard the new FBI building was in-play, well that’s what they say, but I wonder who ‘they’ are.  

The Chamber of Commerce says business is better than it’s ever been. Rich people are moving in, but poor folks are hard to find…say they have been displaced is a big big lie. Some folks want to spit in your eyes, trying to cloud our vision in what we all can plainly see: the war on the poor, against you and me. I had to move, you see. I now live in that little town across the river along with some other poor folks who look like me.  

A young white couple, as nice as can be, with a black dog who seems not to like me. Well, that’s all I have to say about my home town. It’s a changing place, for poor folks who look like me.