They called us latchkey kids – I wore a red yarn necklace
to school each day in kindergarten, like a talisman,
the tool for entry to our brownstone apartment
on display. My older sister walked me there through
busy streets and intersections while mom caught the city
bus to her secretarial job, gone until six o’clock – making
my way home was my own adventure. We’re all separated
again – my father living in New York. Three hours alone
every day, but first the war with the door. A large,
hungry wooden door with all kinds of bad moods and swollen
sides that refused to budge. Yelling, begging, kicking on
the fortress for the old crone of a landlady on the third floor
to let me in. Sometimes I fell asleep in the snow, waiting.
Waiting to get taller, older. Tough wasn’t a word we used.

About the Author

Nicole Farmer is a writer and teacher living in Asheville, NC. Her poems have been published in The Closed Eye Open, The Amistad, Quillkeepers Press, Capsule Stories, Haunted Waters Press, Sheepshead Review, Roadrunner Review, Wild Roof Journal, Bacopa Literary Review, Great Smokies Review, Kakalak Review, 86 Logic, Wingless Dreamer, Inlandia Review, In Parentheses, and others. Nicole was awarded the First Prize in Prose Poetry from the Bacopa Literary Review in 2020. She has just finished her first chapbook entitled ‘Wet Underbelly Wind’ which will be published in November of 2022. Way back in the 90’s she graduated from The Juilliard School of Drama. You can find her dancing barefoot in her driveway on the full moon at midnight.