“The F Train,” by Lucia Young
October 15, 2019
The F Train
Maybe she didn’t get the job
Maybe the hiring manager found her height overbearing,
That she reeked of women who frighten men
Maybe he caught sight of the pendant on the chain around her neck
Hanging just above the hemline of a new-looking grey cardigan.
A tarnished beauty on the shore of crisp formality
I imagine her boyfriend gifted her the stone.
Maybe she loves the necklace, a beautiful burnt orange carnelian rock
Maybe she doesn’t love him anymore.
Hates the sound of his voice on sleepy mornings
A pretentious whine with an enchanting sort of ring
I imagine him at her 23rd birthday party
The drinks she may have spilled, the stories she may have told, the friends she might have made
Maybe she felt the world was hers, like I feel now
Maybe he fulfilled that feeling
Maybe that feeling has been replaced.
She smiles up from her book with tired brown eyes.
When she sees me watching
I avert my eyes quickly, although I’d love to engage.
It has the cover of all my favorite novels
The train slows to a stop
She gathers her coat into her arms and leaves through the double wide doors
I hope she deals with rejection better than I do.
Lucia Young wrote this poem while a 9th grader at Roosevelt High School, with WITS Writer-in-Residence Matt Gano. Performed at the Seattle Arts & Lectures’ SAL Presents event with Patti Smith at Benaroya Hall on October 6, 2019.