By Patrick T. Reardon


Face of God, name

of God, child death

in every home,

Egyptian, Israelite, Canaanite

— let people go —

sea split, walled water, 

tabernacle and gold god, 

“The Parting of the Red Sea” by William Blake

frogs, lice, hail,

locusts, boils,

blood, blood, blood,

ten commands, 

doorposts, manna,

rock water, 

hard heart,

seabed, stiff neck, 

wilderness, mountaintop, 

light rays, cloud,

fire, treaty 

— hold still

and see salvation —

flight, arrival, exile, 

name of God, face

of God, 

— wander alpha to omega, 

from end to start, 

from freedom to slavery 

and back —

breathe, breathe,


milk-honey land, 

pox, pox, pox, 

slaves, victims,


new world, new nation, 

manifest, faith, 



empty, open.


And, then,


Patrick T. Reardon


This poem originally appeared in The Write Journal, Issue 46, February 21.

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 https://patricktreardon.com/.

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