They looked and turned away
by Kim Whysall-Hammond

They looked and turned away
Londoners afraid to interact
With the girl sitting, weeping
On a stinkingly hot day in the city
Exclaiming that she had gone blind
Oversized suitcase abandoned near her feet
My feet
Someone pushed a cold drink into my hand
A woman’s voice comforted me
A stranger joined me on the step, asked where I was going
Told me that a long hot walk carrying a load
Had affected my sight
Sat until, miraculously, my sight returned
Then left
Pulling myself to my feet
I retrieved the offending suitcase
Slowly made my way to the Tube station
Continued my journey, moving from London to Oxford
Changing university, leaving friends and home city
Aiming for a Doctorate, I should have noted the omen
For I found loneliness and failure

IMAGE: “Suitcase full of books” by Garry Gay. Prints available at

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem describes the actions of a unique person in London — a kind stranger. I’m a Londoner and I love my home city, but it can be a brutal place. I was moving a suitcase full of books from London to Oxford, where I hoped to earn a Doctorate in the “Angular momentum of the Earth.”  I didn’t. This is my first published poem.


Kim Whysall-Hammond
is a scientist by training, an IT manager by profession, and a poet by necessity, although until recently her poetry has been covert and hidden away.   She now shares poems at in a rather devil-may-care fashion for an Englishwoman. She has had a poem accepted by Ink, Sweat and Tears.