Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Prodigal Son

Painting by Charlie Mackesy

The Prodigal Son

It’s the hogshit stink rising with the sun
that’s done for me.
My hands webbed, gloved with the stuff.

And the cornhusks: dry as old harlots I’ve had
when shekels ran low.

One shindig after another. Sex
like shooting stars. My belly a wineskin,
now scooped out, shrivelled as the last fig of summer.
Birds could perch on each rib.

A cowl of shame.
Dare I shadow my father’s house?
The utterance of my name-
each letter an ulcer on his tongue?
Will I be but a mote of dust
shooed out by his hirelings?

I set off, sandals flap like dying fish.
Vultures fidget in my path.

My Father-
arms outstretched in folds of the wind.
I stagger, kneel.
The forgiveness of a fatted calf,
purple robes to cover skin pleated over bones.
Words of silver to quench my thirst.
My son who was lost is now found.

And my brother?
He vomits envy.

Catherine Foster

Posted over on Applehouse Poetry

No comments: