By Patrick T. Reardon


Child of the Century was born in

a wash of salt water, a covenant

with breathing, an opening of the

eyes to power and unknowing.

     In the beginning.

Child of the Century raised the

psalter in his hands to sing a psalm

of salt covenant, a canticle of

salt sown among seeds, a hymn of

milk and honey and frankincense,

salt and mustard and myrrh.

     In those days.

The prophet Elisha purified the

pool with salt. The one ocean is

fed by the world’s fresh waters. 

At the lick, a deer quivering,

head high, alert to peril.


Child of the Century visited the City

of Salt, swam in the Sea of Salt.  His

burdened brother turned himself into

a pillar of salt with his escape gun.

     The Lord gives, takes.

On the midnight kitchen table in the

stolid Mildred Street apartment, the

fervent cockroach partakes of a soda

cracker, salt side down.


The Lord speaks in the headlong

poetry of the prophets.


Patrick T. Reardon



This poem originally appeared at Silver Birch Press on 9.9.23

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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