How puzzle the prayer


Walking seminary fields,

silent-hour recollection days,

calloused caress of color and blaze,

sharp tender bright air slicing wet morning grass.


Filled with wide light.


How steel my legs?

How blade the grip lack?

How bell the jerk and jag of breath?


How pipe the foreign?

How altar the yearn?

How street the knowledge of death?


How ocean the benediction?

How rosary the examination?

How sculpture the confession?


I confess.  I crucify. I abjure. I sacrifice.


Prophet’s blood off rawed skin to splat road dust,

paste for blind eyes and full stomachs.

Blessed are the lost.


Lauds. Compline.


Psalm of David.

Psalm of the great empty white.


My God, my God, why?


How architecture the touch?


I will go to the table of the Lord.

Break my bread. Spill my wine. Wash my sins.

White my garments. Angel my innocent’s neck.

Good news, good news.

Call me blessed.


How ghost the surrender?


Patrick T. Reardon



“How puzzle the prayer” was originally published on 6.21.18 by Under a Warm Green Linden.


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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