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The Face in the Crowd

The face has enough

I like to look
I like to look at her
I like the way her hair
Drifts across her face
Like an open window
I like the way her lips sit
An enticement
I like the whites in her eyes
The ethereal in her skin
Despite the make-up
But I would not like it
If she looked my way
I don’t want to read her expression
Her thoughts of me
I don’t want the moment to be ruined
I only want to scrutinize
So she can be angelic, omnipresent
Tender, immaculate
Just as she is.

I don’t want her to talk
She may say something I don’t want to hear
Perhaps something puerile
Perhaps something intelligent
That I don’t agree with
Or something to betray her spirit
Which I suspect
Is vain and self-serving
As she is young
And overdressed
With a singular arrogant air
And isn’t aware
Of the world around her
Or cares to know about it
And perhaps that is a good thing
And maybe I wish I felt more that way
But there are too many people
On the platform
And too many stories
For me to be indifferent.

Almost now
One of those people will carry me away
With their story.

in this moment
She is all there is.

Passengers at rush hour, Victoria Station, London, 1927.
Victoria Station 1927

This poem was written in August 2012. I can't remember if it was based on a actual incident, as I people gaze a lot (don't we all) and have forgotten her (I've also destroyed too many brain cells over the years so I'll pretend that it's the former excuse), but it's highly likely that it did happen.


  1. I like to watch. Don't we all. I prefer they don't see me watching too, because the judgement then becomes a two way process.

  2. So true - better to see people and imagine what they are and what their story is rather than hearing the reality

  3. brilliant! yes, I have been there as all of us have I'm sure. That brief, plump moment.. full of promise (but not really). Life pulsing madly as the second passes by.. and then I look on to the next person, which engages me just as quickly and subsequently forgotten even faster still.

  4. You couldn't have destroyed that many braincells in the year since you wrote this, right? No need to answer that. It's a great poem regardless. Yes, the only way to believe that someone is perfect is to never actually get to know them.

    Be well, Anthony.


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