The Infestation

The noises upstairs
distract me from Beatles For Sale
on the stereo.
It has been eight days,
over a week since the neighbor passed
and her family has come
to sort through her stuff
and see what there is
worth taking.

I have met none of them,
seen no one at the hospital,
though been in phone contact,
heard tell of just having missed them.
I have never seen them visit grandma
in my two decades in this building,
heard no words of love said between them
– ever –
but they come now
to see her off
and see if her stuff
might find good homes.

Of course,
I was not with their grandmother
all the time
and I don’t know
of everything that’s gone on
in their family,
I hear them overhead
in my building,
her grandbabies, in black
(I imagine),
rifling through my neighbor’s belongings,
taking what they wish.

I knock on her door to greet them.
No reply.
They are busy sorting every little thing.
I don’t want to spoil their party,
so I go.

Their work follows the sun,
meeting Mr. Moonlight
and, unmet, unseen
they are gone.
The invasion is over
and the building and I
are left with memories of my neighbor
and whatever trash her relatives
chose to forsake.

I feel a little bit bitter
but a familiar voice buzzes,
“Honey, don’t.”
I smile,
and listen a little longer.

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