Poem: Before We Were Scared, 1998

I wrote this poem in 1998. I find it as a reflection on the world condition that leaves me with a sense of hope.

painting showing a person frozen in a scream
Before we were scared
the streets were our own 
we'd wonder the town 
and call it our home; 

anyone we would see
we could ask for the time 
and sometimes we'd even
give us a dime.

Before we were scared
our doors might be locked
but bars didn't exist
our windows to block;

porch lights were turned on 
when we were expected,
a motion detector
didn't make us protected.

Before we were scared 
we didn't need a phone 
inside of our car 
only in our home;

our numbers were listed,
our names we could find
if we wanted to call us
we really didn't mind.

Before we were scared 
our streets all had shops 
and sanitized malls 
weren't one of our stops;

guards weren't in stores 
only in banks 
the merchants knew us 
they'd give us their thanks.

But when weren't we scared 
was it ever that way 
is it just what we think 
looking back from today;

was life really better 
is that just in our heads 
to justify our fears 
as we lay in our beds.

And if we were scared 
and nostalgia's a screen 
then we're left in a world 
that's not so serene

and to banish our fears 
to some lost ground 
we must start making friends 
with all us around.