To The Young Woman With The Red Vespa:

I feel your pain.

You tried so hard, and it really was a shame.

The way you parked so fast, clipped off your helmet,

and grabbed everything from under your seat in under 5 seconds.

And when you took off running, I kinda knew the deal-

sprinting down the bike lane in wedges – shit was real.

I heard and saw the train that just came, opening it’s doors, going my opposite way-

and everyday, a straggler or two has to run for

the train heading downtown at 7:34-

She saw the grand silver snake hissing, about to head out,

she had parked her red Vespa 3 blocks away, but was still 2 blocks out.

She turned on the jets – hair and backpack bouncing around,

It was her for whom the train bells tolled, and as that infamous sound

rang, she became Usain Bolt in a jean jacket and bangs-

darting across the street with wreckless abandon,

she had to catch this train, no ‘buts,’ ‘ifs,’ or, ‘ands.’

“She’s so close!”, I was (secretly) cheering for her now,

watching to see if she caught her train as I walked down

the very same street she ran past, knowing that feeling so well-

trying to catch a train, hoping it doesn’t glide past.

She made it to the steps of the Metra Station platform,

halfway up, hustling, this is what she ran for,

I’m on the edge of my seat, but I’m actually walking, to the station’s other side,

crossing my fingers, hoping that she’ll make it,

And then the doors close.

I see it before she does, and as she rounds the last set of stairs, my heart sinks.

She stops running, and walks the rest of the way up – breathless, defeated, and probably late for work.

Half a flight of stairs and 10 feet of train platform is all that made the difference-

A fateful little stretch of distance is why the woman with the red vespa missed her train,

despite her unwavering persistence. -RSM

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