I wrote this poem in 1998. I think it still applies 18 years later.
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; and guards weren't in stores only in the banks the merchants they 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 far away ground we must start making friends with all us around.