Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross.

Seattle, Station 5:
Under the I-5 viaduct off Airport Way.

In mid-May, 2000, a homeless woman gave birth here, assisted only by another homeless woman. This is a fictional description of that event, using fictional names.

Jerusalem, Station 5:
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross.

Katie's grip on Alice's hands spasmed tighter with her womb. Alice felt her own breath coming faster, tried to calm it, tried to send calm through her skin.

"I can't do this!" Alice thought again in a panicked silent yell. "Why do I have to do this?" But she was the only one there.

They'd been watching for each other so that they could each get some sleep. When Katie woke Alice, they worked together to get Katie squatting where one one of the concrete walls could support her back, put the cleanest of the spare clothes from both of them under her. The clothes would get bloody, but at least if the baby touched them he might not get sick.

If only there were time to run for help. But Katie was so scared. Alice hardly knew the woman, but she couldn't run out on her. So; you do what you can.

"No, hon, don't lie down; the baby'll come easier if you squat. Let the gravity work for you. Just let it come, darlin', just let it come."

With the baby out, lying up aginst Katie's skin, then Alice started running for the highway. "Help! Oh, somebody, please help!"

Station 6
Stations of the Cross: the Spiritual Geography of Homeless People in Seattle