As if crying

By Patrick T. Reardon


Month money envelopes,

unlabeled something cans,

irregulared clothing,

big boy, little kids, duty.


Shoes on sideboard,

morning machine.

Line up, line down.


Church altar, gold, silver,

cryptic incense language,

holy storm organ,

big boy, gowned, bowed with Latin,

little kids.


Face to hands after Communion,

like the men, as if crying.


Signboard jungle playground,

dirt field, alley junking.

Concrete garbage playground,

white shirt streaked emerging,



Blacktop lot, scoured gray-white,

wind, feet, rain, creviced,

shards of one hundred million bottles,

brown, green, clear,

constellation in morning sun,

cosmos in angled light refracted,


throne of heaven.


Patrick T. Reardon


This poem originally appeared in After Hours, Winter 2021.

Written by : Patrick T. Reardon

For more than three decades Patrick T. Reardon was an urban affairs writer, a feature writer, a columnist, and an editor for the Chicago Tribune. In 2000 he was one of a team of 50 staff members who won a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. Now a freelance writer and poet, he has contributed chapters to several books and is the author of Faith Stripped to Its Essence. His website is

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