Somewhere between Macomb and Joliet, Illinois,
at a shaded place on a rural road, a hot day
in June long ago, when my wife and I were young,
we stopped to rest on the long drive to Chicago.
Not a half mile away, a small, white clapboard
town, its quiet street lined with tall oaks
and elms, was shining in the heat of that prairie
afternoon. “Wait for me here in the shade,” I said...
“I’ll be back soon with cold drinks.” I inquired,

And a family took me in, gave me room and board.
I was hired to catalogue books in the public library,
and became an honored member of the Rotary,
for my good works and gentle ways.

Years later, on a hot day in June, I remembered
to stop at the soda fountain for the cold drinks
and bring them back. “I’m glad you waited for me,
it’s all right”, I said, “we can go on to Chicago now.”



Myron Ernst's poetry has appeared in: Poetry East, Hayden's Ferry Review, Quarterly West, Chicago Review, Ninth Letter, and Salmagundi, among others.