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Poem: Saw you at the hop

Saw you at the hop

By Patrick T. Reardon


I was nine when I saw

you through open

eighth grade door —

before you went to

Army, to Europe, to

Normandy Beach a

week after D-Day,

and hernia, and

British nurse Betsie,

and Germany, the camp.


Later, a man at the

Thomist Club dance

in school basement —

what was that year? —

your head close to

low ceiling, thin, solid,

arms akimbo.


I told you to dance

with me. Your eyes

dove into my brain

and neck and lungs

and chest and heart

and stomach and dark

place, full of light.


I am your island,

you, my fortress.

We close our front

door around each

other, over us, like

a counterpane, and

I am persuaded

that neither debt nor

wealth, nor demons,

nor powers, nor

tempting, nor

weaknesses, nor

now, nor future,

nor then, nor

height, nor depth,

nor width, nor sons

nor daughters in

their wildernesses,

nor all, nor nothing,

shall separate us.

We are enough.


Patrick T. Reardon



This poem was originally published by Silver Birch Press on 4.17.20.

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