Shopping cards, discarded
on lawns, beached like turtles
immobile on their backs in the sand
delineated ‘bad’ neighborhoods
in our new city.
We were a three shopping cart kind of neighborhood,
which improved over the years.
Here was where I learned not to
walk home alone after dark
or to cross the street if somebody suspicious
happened up on my path.
“Do you know what that’s called?” mama asked, urgently.
the word repeats itself
every time I see a shopping cart
sinister in an alley way or
stranger in my periphery
as I walk home at night.