I grew up in a small town

I grew up in a small town.
it certainly wasn’t a perfect place
but there was something there that
set it apart from “The City”
a thing called “eye-contact”
I certainly didn’t know
everybody in town
but more often than not
the people I passed were,
if not friends,
at least familiar faces.
If “hellos” were note exchanged,
there was at least a wave or a nod
that acknowledged the other’s presence.

Now I live in “The City”
where the modus operandi is
keep your head down, and
certainly DON’T look a complete stranger
in the eye

And so we walk alone
absorbed in our own thoughts
and ignore the fact that
there are others around us who have
their own hopes, desires, struggles, regrets

So one of these days, when I work up the courage
(and when I have someone behind me
with a hidden video camera)
I’m gonna walk down a busy sidewalk
and with every person that is coming the other way,
I’m gonna raise up my hand and say, “HI FIVE!!”

Then I’m gonna go home,
watch the video,
and laugh myself silly
at the confused looks,
the surprised looks,
and hopefully…
…at least a few smiles!


I couldn’t resist writing a second poem for the “City” prompt over at dVerse.


9 thoughts on “I grew up in a small town

  1. Read both and enjoyed both. I can understand how you are in each setting. In the south you do need to show some identifying voice or eye contact, or else be considered rude. Did you ever notice how people not from an area almost have a heart attack if you recognize their presence with a hello, hey, hi? All truth in these two poems.

  2. I am sure you would receive a few surprised looks indeed, but hopefully people would enjoy…..and smile. And who knows, they might continue on doing the same. What a nice tradition to start.

  3. Good one Bryan, yes I know that place. But in the early morning when I go for a walk it is etiquette to say hello to fellow walkers, the same people you will probably ignore later in the day.

  4. haha i hope you do…and i hope you share the video…that would shock some people for sure…with so many others around it becomes so easy to be anonymous…and in doing that we lose a bit of our heart as well…the connection we have with others….

    hi five!

  5. I love this especially because my son, who is delightfully Outside the Box, delights in greeting passersby with huge waves and smiles, with “Say Yes, Yes, Yes to Life!” and with all manner of effusive warmth. Some people are very uncomfortable and skitter away. But I am always amazed at how many more, after a startled moment, respond with smiles. People in big cities are starved for connection.

  6. i grew up in new york city, so i know what you mean about no eye contact, but there is eye contact, if you want it. it’s always there. but when you’re a kid, no, you don’t know how to do it. guess it makes for good leadership skills.

    popsicle on a stick

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