What a discovery we had made!

Driving around, longing eyes

There it was!  On the corner.

A refuge for all who hungered.


Italian food, adequate, but oh

The antique bottles of Chianti

Exploded with bright and dusty plastic flowers

Portly chefs with white aprons-and smiles.


Dwarfing the plate

In Italian immense-ness

Cheesy specials brimming with promise

To fill you.


Black “specials” board with neon writing:  “Ravioli!”

Plastic lined menus, 10 pages long!

Cavernous dining room equipped with

Prom dates

Starry eyed couples

Grandma and Grandpa

Cheap chairs.


Every winter Ernesto’s welcomed

With minestrone and eggplant parmesan

Tummies expecting and anticipating

Wishes granted.


Photos with Grandma

Sauce still on their faces

Bibs around their necks

Satisfaction in their grins.


This year-then this year-

Anticipation and the fall


Dark and closed

Empty hearts and sad bellies

No gnocchi.  Anymore.




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