Bless me, Father. I can’t conceive.
I am barren as gum-spotted sidewalk cement.
Forlorn in my failure to transubstantiate cells.
Wombed guilty in my shadow-shivering,
wombed empty, unquickened,
wombed naked in the gold and flame sanctuary,
wombed at the stake in the grit, dirt square.
I am sinful in my innocence,
wombed stain uncleansed,
wombed sweat and blood and semen soiled.
In the pew
Hail Mary full
wash me whiter than snow.
Dream the tall policeman.
Patrick T. Reardon lives in Chicago. He is an essayist, poet, literary critic and an expert on the city of Chicago. Reardon is the author of eight books, the most recent of which is a poetry collection, Requiem for David (Silver Birch Press).