She wanted to go home

A poem for Iris Canada, a 100-year-old who died after her eviction

Iris Canada left Texas to find a better life in California with her husband. Photo credit Housing Rights Committee.
Iris Canada left Texas to find a better life in California with her husband. Photo credit Housing Rights Committee.

 

she wanted the memories they stole from her

the landlords and their high priced lawyers

the judge who declared the theft legal

the sheriff who was only doing her job

she wanted the photos

the memorabilia

her husband’s paintings

the dreams and the longings

the six decades within those walls

knowing every inch of every room

the laughter

the tears

the family and friends

the things that make boards and windows

and furniture into a whole lot more than they are

she lay in the hospital while the landlords and

the high priced lawyers

tore out the memories

piling them onto a truck

her favorite dresses in the bedroom closet

the red sofa she sat on every night to watch TV

even the wheelchair she sometimes needed

to get around

she lay in the hospital

heart wouldn’t stop racing no matter

what the doctors did

their drugs and their machines

didn’t matter anymore

the landlords and their high priced lawyers

the judge

the sheriff

had stolen

another piece of her black neighborhood

ripped out

her soul

stolen her home