Do you see them?
Did you notice?
They’re right outside.
And yet somehow we miss them.
Washed away in our busy routine
In our isolated space
In our empty stare
We see right past
We don’t register them at all.
Invisible they stand.
Who? you may ask.
Your brothers and sisters.
They live here.
And yet they live a different life than you, who missed them.
They are the family who wait for their children to come home from school so they can walk together to the store to buy groceries and have enough hands to carry all the bags home.
He’s the man that stands for the Pace Bus with his briefcase and phone waiting to go to work, or to an interview in hopes of securing a job.
They are the men and women who walk with their life attached to them because they do not have a room of their own to lay their things, or their head.
They are the couple crossing the street with bags in their hands from doing some after work shopping.
They are the young men and women standing on the street next to or near that pole that you never noticed that says “Pace Bus Stop 714”.
And I never noticed them either.
I came home from my, now, second home in South Africa, and my mom signed me up to help with PADS. I have done this before and thought it would be a good transition. And then I also volunteered to ride the Pace Bus to interview people and see what the limited public transportation is like and how helpful it is to those who use it.
My eyes were opened like never before.
At PADS, I stared the systemic issue of poverty in its face that night and my mind did not stop spinning.
Their faces etched in my mind. Their voices and conversations playing in my memory.
And some showed up again when I rode the bus.
More thoughts racing through my mind.
Now as I travel, I see only the bus stops.
The people that stand by.
I see those who walk on the street, for whatever the reason.
I see the way that we live,
Individuals in an empty car,
Me driving alone.
And it is not sustainable.
What is the solution?
How do we create community?
What can we have change?
How do we open our eyes?