Land mark

By Patrick T. Reardon


I can take you to

the cement in front

of the school by the

alley and have you

put your finger into

the mark there, the

permanent lines of

hopscotch, and you

will see generations

of children bouncing

on a single foot at

start, reaching at

end, double feet,

sky blue, but you 

will not spot the 

shades of three


innocents, unprisoned

for this moment,

leashless, at large


— the girl Mary,

three, sharp bangs,

check shirt; the boy

David, four, white

t-shirted, gray

dungarees, soft trust

smile; the boy Patrick,

five, already tall —


still whirling their

tuneless black-and

-white child dance

over the hopscotch

lines as if movement,

joy, hand-holding,

magnetic lock,

gentle touch will

last forever.


Patrick T. Reardon



This poem originally appeared at The Write Launch in September, 2020.

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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