Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Slow Night on the Street

I humbly offer a poem from last April in lieu of homeless currents

Tonight April, 2008

Tonight I hugged a hooker,
And held the hand of an addict
Who assured me that everything
Was just fine;
Yet he was looking
over my shoulder
the whole time.
Tonight I breathed a prayer of blessing
In a place that smelled like beer
And piss.
Tonight I shook hands with a homeless friend
And talked baseball
Instead of asking
Why he won’t deal with
The cancer he knows
is killing him.
Tonight I listened to a carefully coiffed drunk
With lustrous skin and perfect nails
Tell me how generous she is
(to a fault)
and I wondered how much she spent
on the gold leather coat,
the face lift, the teeth,
the boobs, hidden, lurking.
Tonight I talked to workers
Who served up food and shelter for 200
But had to send away 23 men
And six women
Into the rainy night
With nothing but a thin wool blanket.
Tonight I will have to dream some impossible dream
on behalf of 29 miserable phantoms.
God help us all.


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