A watery echo
by Patrick T. Reardon

The home movies
show how red my
skin got from the
sun that day and
many other
days at the kids
blue-bottom pool
at Columbus
Park. We were all
so pale, Irish,
red and blond hair,
and deep sunburn,
on which we put
cool Noxema.

The odd-shape dark
spot the nice young
doctor found on
my back forty
years later was
a hot echo:

PHOTO: Two-year-old Patrick T. Reardon (rear) and his one-year-old brother David Michael (drinking from the hose) “swimming” in a bucket in the backyard (August 1952).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Given the subject, there wasn’t really anything else that suggested itself. The end lines of the two stanzas weren’t planned. They were serendipitous as was, in a reverse way, the sunburn and later skin issue.


Patrick T. Reardon
, who now avoids the sun, has been swimming in the ocean of words for the past 55 years and hasn’t drowned yet.