By Patrick T. Reardon


I wait for the stone to pass,

for the heel to heal,

for the tick to tock.

I wait out the clock.


Unnoticed, the grubs

and snits, the moist soil

where the bell tulip rots.


I wait for the call,

wait for the opening chord,

for the confessional door to slide,

for the baby to cry,

for the bell.


Yellow stem sticks,

maze of mourning, the

dead and the quick, the

blueshadow seed grown



For the grave to settle,

for the lights,

for the next move,

for ashes to slow.


Church of chaos

decay, headquarters of

biological commerce,

the last first and so on.


I wait for the mosquito to stab,

for the door to click,

for the last leaf to fall,

for the sewer to drain,

for the Three Magi,

in limbo.


I alone escaped.


Under the viaduct,

to give up the ghost,

for the case to be settled,

for comment.


Corpse of the lucifer

rose, of the waltzing

lily, of the red-wing

gnat, alpha, omega.


I wait beside the road,

out in the cold,


for more.

I wait tables.


Bang and whimper,

lost souls, dead souls,

quiver and still, ignored



Leave him waiting,

empty and waiting,

hungry and waiting,

hidden and waiting,

in plain sight.


The unknown

savior of everything, the

mud scripture, the itch, the

whisper below notice.


I wait for the dust to settle.


Patrick T. Reardon


This poem was first published in Main Street Rag, Fall, 2019.




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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