by Patrick T. Reardon

A jolly good reason to run the world.
A serious religion.
A curious leaden feeling.

If you only tried.

SOURCE: “A Terrible Tragedy” by Patrick T. Reardon (Chicago Tribune: July 9, 1999).

PHOTO: John Keegan by Jerry Bauer.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I cheated here. I used an interview I did in 1999 with the great military historian John Keegan, who died in 2012. I was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune then, and you can find the story I wrote here. I didn’t go back to my notes of that interview, but only used the quotes that are actually in the story. Taken by themselves, they made a pretty interesting commentary on war, but that was too literal for my taste, so I did a lot of carving. I liked blossoming the ideas out.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon‘s poetry has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Westigan Review and Rhino. His essays have run in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, National Catholic Reporter, U.S. Catholic, and, in Ireland, in Reality magazine. He is the author of five books, including Catholic and Starting Out, and has contributed chapters to six others.  He is writing a history of the Chicago Loop and has lectured at the Chicago History Museum. For nearly thirty-three years, he was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune.  His website is