Mercy! Charity! Faith! Holy!
By Patrick T. Reardon
Holy the lone juggernaut! Holy the vast lamb of
the middleclass! Holy the crazy shepherds of rebellion!
— Allen Ginsberg, “Footnote to ‘Howl’ ”
Answers are demanded of too many questions.
Write the vision, plain as a tabletop,
carved into barroom wood.
Vision has a time appointed,
presses on, will not lie. Wait for it.
Let go, ungrasp.
Let go, free.
Promissory note, hope.
The structure of bread.
A new moon over Highway 77.
Reptile, ogre, jackal, mud
— pure as any other thing.
Singer-king leapt and whirled
and claimed his loot, sinner
that he knew himself to be and prophet.
Wisdom is queen.
Patrick T. Reardon
This poem was originally published in Burningword Literary Journal, January, 2023.
This poem will appear in my forthcoming book Salt of the Earth: Doubts and Faith from Kelsay Books.