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.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hole in the fence

There’s a hole in the fence in my town.
It looks too small for a person to crawl through
but we do --
pushing hard to get through
like oversized
When we go through that
hole in the fence
we enter a world of despair.
Last night at midnight
we pressed corpulent flesh
through that hole
and entered into a dark world
under a highway.
Homeless people sleep here
wrapped up in cardboard, plastic, and blankets.
A community of sorrow and regret,
they clump together for safety
more than warmth.
Our blankets were received with thanksgiving
and amazement. It’s 26 degrees.
My friend and I were quiet
until we squeezed back through the
hole in the fence.
What was there to say?
This is the world we live in,
where 700,000 people cram the streets
to celebrate civic pride
but not a single one
knows about the hole in the fence.

6 Feb 2014

I wrote this after crawling through a hole in the fence to take blankets to some guys who were camping out under a roadway in Seattle on a bitterly cold night - maybe in the low 20s. It was about midnight. My companion, Deacon Frank had never seen anything like that. So sad. This was one day after the massive Seahawks Super Bowl celebration parade. Never has Seattle been so packed with people, and none knew about the hole.