Have you ever looked at a stranger and felt like you really want to talk to them? Have you? And how often has fear taken over?
It makes me think of the many times I’ve spotted people (especially on the tube) that I would have liked to connect with, but did’t dare to open my mouth. Why? Because of fear, of course. You know, just in case they don’t respond, laugh at me or look at me like I’m a complete nutter. And just think of all those masses of people in the same carriage who will get to see it! That’s pretty scary, right?
There have been, however, some other times when I did overcome the resistance and said hello, which led to some interesting conversations, laughs, book recommendations, feeling that we all are connected and some pleasant memories. So in light of these recollections here’s my latest poem.
Oh fellow Londoner, who are you?
Where are you going this misty morning?
I see your face so very often, on central line,
Ah, that mundane London underground commuter’s journey.
As you looked down at your phone on Monday, I saw you smile.
Was it a message from your loved one?
Or did you see a funny joke on Facebook
posted by one of your five hundred friends?
On Tuesday you seemed stressed.
Was it how you really felt?
Or was your face just a reflection
of what’s going on in my own life?
On Friday you looked up at me and smiled;
I thought you’d say hello but we both, I guess, were shy.
I often wonder why? I’d sensed we would have enjoyed a chat, yet
we avoided connection and gave in to fear.
Fear speaks to me – it has a voice.
That haunting voice, in my head, it often tells me things.
‘Stay quiet, as you may get rejected. What will people say?
They will judge. Don’t you know your place?’
Ah, but hold on. I’ve heard it all before.
Sounds just like my dad and mama teaching me to how to be in life.
There’s being good and bad, doing what you’re expected, and not talking back.
We grow up, but are we ever told that we’re not children anymore?
So when do we stop identifying with what we’re not allowed?
Oh fellow Londoner, next time we meet I hope we’ll speak.
Perhaps a brief exchange, a polite hello or maybe this encounter will lead to something more?
To find out we’ll have to overcome that gripping fear,
Risk to be ridiculed and open our hearts.
Possibilities in life are truly limitless – I know, letting go is tough, yet
vulnerability offers rewards far beyond what you and I could ever grasp.