By Patrick T. Reardon


Water-splashed forehead.

Product of times. 

Cheek slapped, new name, chrism.

Child of century.

Sign of.


Communion of saints.

Myrrh burial.

Finger ringed.

Deathly afraid.

Rolling frenzy.


     Praying the uncertainties.

     Intoning the mysteries.

     Chanting the doubts.


Frankincense body.

All the days of my life.

Lips oiled.

Reliquary of gold.

Field lily.


Soil son. Sky daughter.

With you always.



Kill the fatted.

Defend, do justice, deliver.



     Empty of urge for logic.


Wafer tongue. 

Sin into words. 

Breath into words.


Immutable trumpet whisper.

Wood sags like child resigned.

Great Wall.  Great Amen.

Table of sinners.

Lift up your hearts. 





Patrick T. Reardon


This poem was originally published by Amethyst Review on 12.4.22.

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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