Canticle – a poem by Patrick T. Reardon


Water-splashed forehead. 
Product of times.  
Cheek slapped, new name, chrism. 
Child of century. 
Sign of.

Communion of saints. 
Myrrh burial. 
Finger ringed. 
Deathly afraid.
Rolling frenzy.

     Praying the uncertainties. 
     Intoning the mysteries. 
     Chanting the doubts. 

Frankincense body. 
All the days of my life. 
Lips oiled. 
Reliquary of gold. 
Field lily. 

Soil son. Sky daughter. 
With you always. 
Kill the fatted.
Defend, do justice, deliver.

     Empty of urge for logic. 

Wafer tongue.  
Sin into words.  
Breath into words. 

Immutable trumpet whisper. 
Wood sags like child resigned.
Great Wall.  Great Amen. 
Table of sinners. 
Lift up your hearts.  


Patrick T. Reardon, a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, has authored eleven books, including the poetry collections Requiem for David (Silver Birch), Darkness on the Face of the Deep (Kelsay) and The Lost Tribes(Grey Book). Forthcoming is his memoir in prose poems Puddin’: The Autobiography of a Baby (Third World).  His website is  His poem ‘The archangel Michael’ was a finalist for the 2022 Mary Blinn Poetry Prize.

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