Real Change vendor Cassie Phillips died December 11, 2010, at 40 years old.
Cassie Phillips was active in the founding of Nickelsville, in WHEEL homeless women's organizing effort and in Real Change. In addition to selling the paper, she was a member of the Real Change Editorial Committee and part of the Real Change Homeless Speaker's Bureau. She made jewelry, crocheted and read tarot cards, and she was a published poet. Many people will greatly miss her. A memorial service has been held at Mary's Place. Anitra Freeman requests that anyone with memories of Cassie send whatever you can put into words to email@example.com to be included in a second memorial.
Waiting for the Bus
Standing at the bus stop
I feel a chill run through me
As the night air combines with my exhaustion,
Making me anxious for the bus
which will take me back to the tiny rented room
Where I can crash for a few hours
Before I have to start the long and tiring process
all over again.
I watch a few private vehicles pass by
Longing for their warmth and speed.
I had been there once.
I was the lone driver listening to the radio
Speeding my way back to my comfortable aparrtment.
Yet even those luxuries were tainted by the pressures.
of the 60-hour a week job
that robbed me of the enjoyment of the
possessions it bought me.
I see a car full of young people pass
Reminding me of how I too had once enjoyed
cruising with my friends,
laughing and having fun.
Yet even through my laughter I was filled with worry
about what my future held.
Could I meet the expectations that were set for me?
Would I succeed or would I fail?
Memories falsh through my mind-
How did I sink so low?
How did all my hard work and enduring energy
lead me to such a low point?
How could I enjoy life when I was barely making ends meet?
Then I notice the woman across the street
lugging a backpack and two suitcases
filled with all the possessions she owns in this world.
She hurries frantically along
Trying to get to the only shelter still open
Hoping to find a mat still unclaimed on the
hard linoleum floor,
Hoping she'll have a warm, dry place to sleep tonight.
Suddenly the bus pulls up and I quickly board
Now filled with an overwhelming gratitutde
For the warm bed and peace of mind
that is waiting for me at the end of the line.