The latch key kids,

Tamika, Charles

and his sister,

Rebecca, have them


They perch on front porch stoops

staring at passing cars

in the little light that’s left

making wisecracks

with a sharpness

that is frightening


I never know if they’ve

had their supper or not


I’ve seen them often

walking home from school

in knee deep snow

leading each other

by the hand


After sundown their houses

are dark inside

They’re no strangers

to the night