Myron Ernst, "The Carousel at the End of August"




The high school student whose summer job it was

to take the tickets, push and pull the wooden rod

to start and stop the carousel and its calliope’s 

whistles, pipes, and little drums, became bored

with it all, indifferent. During June and July,

he was proud of himself—the power that he had,

the magic he performed, the delight he took

watching the childrens’ faces, how they came

and went, and came again; how they rose and sank

and rose again on their fanciful beasts. But as the

summer waned, he grew listless and fidgety

in his beach chair; the carousel became a burden       

to be endured. The delight, the magic, the power                 

he knew in June and July, drained away.

Now, he waited for the day’s final go-around,

when he’d  pull the wooden rod to stop the turning, 

chain the gate, fold his chair, head for home.



Myron Ernst has had poems published in a variety of journals, including Chicago Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Hollins Critic, Hopkins Review, South Carolina Review, Tar River Poetry, Texas Review, and West Branch.