This morning I saw you resting on a concrete barrier along the side of the Springwater Corridor Trail in Lents. You took up your burden of empty cans and bottles, and started moving in the same direction as I, and as I continued in your footsteps, I saw and heard a woman talking on the phone nearby. I could not make out her words exactly, but what I heard was poisonous - she spoke in a derogatory and dehumanizing manner about you, and those of us who struggle to survive on the streets of this city - I think she was calling the cops. I saw her speech affect you - your head and shoulders seemed to sag, as though those wretched words were harder to carry than the bottles and cans.
The scene was nearly too much for me to bear - I wanted to scream at that horrible woman - had she been living under a rock for the last fifty years? Perhaps she'd been watching television instead of the world around her. Otherwise, she would know that we've been left for dead by a government that encourages ghouls like Jeff Bezos and Phil Knight to enrich themselves at the expense of working people.
Instead of trying to angrily speak truth to ignorance, I drew up alongside you, and tried to offer some words of encouragement. I'd like to be able to think that I helped you in some small way, but I know it's not enough. It seems like all I can do is keep going, and hope that one day soon we, the people, might come together in a real Union, to demand human dignity for all.
You deserve better.