The Fellow Next to Me




I always run up forest road and enjoy taking in the people and scenery around me. When I'm running I feel so calm, in a bubble of my own, yet I also feel connected to everyone around me. I have severe Dyslexia, when i was 12 my reading age was just 5.5 years. I struggled to write and despite having so much to express could never get it out or it took too much energy and stress that I never tried. I spent longer spell-checking this than writing it, but I wanted use this opprortunites to express my connection to Walthamstow.

I walk down Forest Road, with headphones navigating my way
Carving out my path, through cars and trees that bend to greet me
My eyes normally wonder down, fixed on the tarmac, not today
Today, as I walk past the Town hall, I feel calm
Each stranger I pass acknowledges my presence
We weave and dance around each other
The bus is our audience
The borough our stage.
For the fellows around me are united in calm
Connected by the sun that breaks through the isolation
I’ve walked streets my whole life
Growing up in the borough I call home
It’s the home we share, we love, we belong to
Each and every fellow feeling the street below their feet are calm
And yet the history is there
We can not ignore the shortcomings in our home
The areas to improve, redo, revision
And that’s okay, for a home is constantly growing
As more fellows we welcome in, empowers us to take up the
I’ve walked to the forest now
The trees join their friends to create a canopy of green
I feel calm,
I breathe in the air, and smile as the jogger passes me
I smile as i know the route they take
I let my brain hover over the people around me
The baby in the buggy
The school children laughing
The car with its window down, giving me nibbles of a song I’m yet to know
I feel calm
I feel connected to my fellows surrounding me.
I turn and look back, the sun begins to rest, my breath pauses
I’m grateful for my home
I’m grateful for my community
And for each and every fellow who lives with me, thank you
Together we will create a home for our children to grow in
And those children, in the stage they call home, will know
We Are Walthamstow

More from Poems

Heathrow Airport Toilets


This poem was written during lockdown last year. I am lucky to have my local park, Hilly Fields, opposite my...


Moments of connection were so precious and effort was made with a simple smile in unexpected places and from people...

Become a Member

Our Members are champions of literature. Their support makes our engagement work in schools and prisons possible and they enable us to celebrate literature in all its wonderful diversity. As a thank you, we give them all the joys of a literary festival and book club rolled into one, all year round.