I See You


The postscript to the Forgotten Voices song cycle, this song is written from the perspective of a housed person seeing a homeless person along side the road, and wanting to help, but not knowing how. It acknowledges the confusion and frustration so many of us feel when faced with those who are suffering, while delivering a striking message of love and humanity.

This piece is part of the Forgotten Voices song cycle, and can be purchased as a stand-alone piece, or with the song cycle.

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Listen & Peruse

I See You

from the poem “Victory” by Ethan D. Bryan

I see you
through swish and flick
of windshield wipers
cardboard-sign bearing
stoplight waiting
rain-dripping chinI carry no cashI desire to make eye contact
but feel embarrassed for comforts
I take for granted daily, hourlyReliable transportation
hot showers, good food
supportive family

I see you through
side-eye glances, waiting
on an overdue green

Dare I open doors
offer to take you to lunch
warm, dry respite on a
cat-and-dog-hair-covered couch

Is that wise, is that safe
What about my kids?Simple, naïve honest prayers
do they honor God and neighbor
or just assuage guilt?I’m sorry I don’t say anything
I’m sorry I don’t give anythingBut I see you
beautifully human
and hope you know
you are loved.

The poem “Victory,” by local poet Ethan D. Bryan serves at the postscript to the Forgotten Voices cycle, turning the viewpoint from that of the unhoused to that of housed people who sincerely wish to help, but feel powerless and confused in the face of suffering. I love this poem because it correctly identifies the first step to real change – loving the beautifully human people who make up our unsheltered community. It does not absolve any of us from helping in every way we can, but it understands that love comes first, and then action follows. I hope this moves you to carry some cash, some handwarmers, water, food, something, so that you can always be ready to act in love and kindness towards those you meet, that it moves you to advocate for real change. ” – Katie Kring


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