Modern Prodigal

Modern Prodigal

Ears sting at table in silence,
behind dry eyed tears, tongue
stumbles, staggers like a blinded
zebra on the Serengeti awaiting its
lion, heart doesn’t burst like a balloon
it fizzles with an obscene sound I
would tweek into a prolonged squeak
out of frustration or impatience
with this stranger, my son who
sits across from me, unresponsive
as a patient in a psych ward
picks at food pains were taken
to prepare, stares at the tablecloth
as if some universal truth were hidden
there… judging, afraid to be judged
or just too bored, some sons have an ear
for music, some for truth, he seems to have
neither…his week back, he broke his mother’s
heart, why after all did he bother ,
spends his time up in his room…
what he does up there all day
he wouldn’t say, computer friends
computer games…. Maybe plays
backgammon or gambles…I carry
his big bag to the gate, go through
all the motions (and emotions)
for his departure as planes
come in out of the clouds each its own
miracle of desire, flying, now back
to the gravity of our dark earth,
wheels skidding scream on tarmac….
back to our dark car carrying empty relief
we regret, the trudge heavy in silent grief.

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