The Prodigal

She’ll get her back up if you ask her about it –
that life before
when she left home and ran around.
But she never says a word
and shoos you away from the porch
if you keep on pesterin’ her.

We all know the story
but never get to hear the juicy details
of those high livin’days.
And the stories of when she came home-
bruised and barefoot,
no better than the pigs in the sty.
They ran all the way down the road
past the mailboxes
when they saw her-
wrapped her in their best cotton sheets
and covered her hair in honey.
Calling all the neighbors,
they butchered their prize hog
and we ate like kings,
all the sweet meat and greens and potato salad
we could hold.
And, my, oh my, that coconut cake.

But that’s not what I wanted to tell you.

Ever since then,
she’s kept to herself,
minding her daddy til he passed
and now her mamma,
tied to this porch like there was a chain on her,
never uttering a solitary word of regret.

Or remorse neither.

She lived her life, some say,
in those wild, runabout years,
and now she’s paying for it.

But she’ll never say a thing –
not a solitary word.

(revised)

6 thoughts on “The Prodigal

  1. I was happy to see your modern version of the parable of the prodigal son, but the ending saddened me. It felt as though she hadn’t really experienced the forgiveness that is at the heart of the story. I did a three part presentation on the prodigal son on my other blog a Christian blog using the painting that Rembrandt did of the parable. Nicely done Kathleen. I hope someday that girl knows she is forgiven. The hardest is to forgive oneself.

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