by Patrick T. Reardon

Sun Sunday afternoon calm, after Mass,
at the tired, small store,
hidden on Madison Street, like a lamb,
our sinewed bikes against the rough-face, red brick wall.

A tall, syrupy Nehi grape pop
with cheese popcorn
and an éclair.

An hour later,
sick as a sweet dog.


AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: In this photo, I’m 15. Somehow, the mystical moment of that Nehi grape pop meal was, for me, of the same fabric as the mystical moments of baseball.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’m not much of a foodie. There are few meals I remember for the food. This meal from when I was about 13, I remember.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon, who is writing a book about Chicago’s elevated railroad Loop, no longer drinks Nehi grape pop.