The Girl on the Train

My friend and I were riding home on BART from San Francisco. The only open seats were the priority seats right inside the doors, designated for disabled riders. We grabbed them and sat down.


At the first stop in Oakland, a huge crush of people entered the car all at once. The last one on was a young woman, nearly doubled over. She grabbed onto the seat, looked at us imploringly and said, please, I’m seven weeks pregnant. With that, we both jumped up and she fell into our seats.


She looked up at me, and since no one had taken the seat beside her, I sat back down. She then turned to me tearfully and told me that she was in pain. Excruciating. Had to stand up in the middle of a meeting and leave work. Asked me, is this normal?


What do you say to a woman doubled over in pain in the early stages of pregnancy?


Every pregnancy is different. You should call your doctor. Have you called your doctor?


She had called her dad. He was picking her up from the train and driving her to the Emergency Room though he didn’t know why.


We rode together for the next several stops. Spoke in quiet voices. Invited calm. It will be all right. No matter what, everything will be all right.


Today is Easter Sunday. The day she and her husband had planned to joyously announce to her parents that she was pregnant with their first grandchild.


I don’t know her name. I don’t know the rest of the story.  I can’t stop thinking about her.


Today she is my Easter prayer.

About katemccarrollmoore

Kate Moore’s passion is literacy, and she serves as a mentor teacher and staff developer throughout the greater Bay Area. Kate served three terms as the City of San Ramon's Poet Laureate (2012-2018); she also teaches poetry writing workshops and is an instructor in the Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership (MATL) program at St. Mary’s College of California. She was honored as SRVUSD Teacher of the Year in 2007 and San Ramon Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year in 2009. Kate holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from California State University, East Bay, an M.A. in Teacher Leadership from St. Mary’s and a B.A. in English Education from SUNY Albany. She and Bob Moore are the proud parents of four beautiful grown daughters, and the smitten grandparents of six beautiful children who fill them with hope for the future.
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