a walking and seeing poem

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What if you walked slower and didn’t race the traffic lights?

No one is rushing you but you.

What if you walked slower and saw the man sweeping water from the curb; the girl taking a smoke break;

the woman who reads classic literature, surrounded by cardboard and stuffed animals?

What if you walked slower and listened?

What if you walked slower

and looked up?

There’s not much sky in midtown, so grab it while you can.

What if you walked slower and listened to the fountain at Columbus Circle? Only you know how much you love the sound of rushing water.

What if you walked slower

and looked in bookstore windows, fished out spare change for the coffee cart,

smelled the flowers at the corner bodega?

What if you walked slower

and noticed people on bikes? I wonder where they’re going and if they feel safe.

What if you waked slower

and enjoyed yourself?

What if you walked slower and noticed?

What if you walked slower

and acknowledged the parents, babies and immigrants existing with you?

Lonely, rich, poor, scared, hurting, exuberant, questioning.

Wanting to belong.

All of us.

Observe. Listen. Learn.

To the people who look nothing like me but are more like me than I realize.

What if you slowed down and started to see?

a poem to myself, queen of fast walking

Elizabeth Moore

 

Are you still? Have you stopped? Wasn’t that walking and seeing poem amazing? In a lifestyle of scrolling through everyone else’s photos, this poetic thought is a jolt, a shift, a wake up.


What if we wrote a poem together? In the comment section, tell us what you see as you walk. We’ll string these together and make a poem from our neighborhoods in the coming months!

But first, I want you to meet and know my friend, Elizabeth. She and I are brand new friends, but immediately kindred spirits. You know that already because her poem speaks my heart language! This is everything Love Where You Live is about - especially the chapter on Seeing Eyes.

If you’re new to me, join my newsletter and get the first chapter of Love Where You Live free.

If you’re new to Elizabeth, read about her below and follow her walks and writings through NYC.

Then look up and around you. You just might make a new friend, too!



Elizabeth is a writer who uplifts other writers. She lives in New York City and works at Penguin Random House as a publishing assistant for Vintage Anchor Books. She graduated from Mississippi College’s Writing Department and completed the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University. While she’s not exploring used book stores and museums, she side-hustles as a freelance editor and publishing consultant by helping aspiring authors write book proposals, query letters, and manuscripts, and overall demystifying the publishing process. She writes personal essays and the occasional poem on her Instagram @ejmoore and website elizabethmoorewriting.com


Don’t forget: What if we wrote a poem together? In the comment section, tell us what you see as you walk. We’ll string these together and make a poem from our neighborhoods!