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Witnessing Beautiful Strangers: A Poem About Nothing in Particular

I witnessed a beautiful brief moment today.

Right in front of the place where I work

is a busy seafood restaurant, 

where special occasions are often celebrated 

and the joy is so loud it sneaks across the street into our ears.

The wait outside is always long

(an experience worth waiting for)

I happened to look up as two strangers,

their faces completely hidden by shadows from the street lamps,

ran all the way from our parking lot to the line stretching far beyond the entrance,

clamoring over the cracks in the sidewalk,

just to hug one another after what you could tell to them felt like forever.

It struck me so that I felt it in my chest;

A pull towards their magnetic moment.

Simple bliss and nothing more.

Content, even.

I can’t help but wonder

if I have been that shadow faced stranger to another.

If anyone has ever witnessed me have one of those brief outbursts

of excitement, love, or happiness

that are so overwhelming you forget about the world around you

It falls away.

I hope I have.

Because that will mean that somewhere,

someone might happen to be paying attention, and be content too.

They did say to stop and smell the roses --

The scent is sweeter than I remembered.

Izzy Smith

C of C '23

Izzy is a Special Education Major at CofC with a minor in Religious Studies. She is passionate about education, politics, history, and music. In addition to being a teacher, she hopes to be a political journalist who advocates for equal rights for people with disabilities. You can often find her exploring the city of Charleston with iced coffee in hand or working at the Children's Museum!
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