Friday, March 19, 2010

Lenten Art Project--A Poem Based on the Prodigal Son

This week I had hoped to add audio to one of my animated/video poems, but time got away from me. However, I did write a poem. During my pastor's sermon, the ideas just started to flow.

I feel like I should give him partial writing credit. I wouldn't have had the ideas for the second stanza without his sermon ringing in my ears.


And so it comes to this: we stink
of swine, and we fight
them for food, and we wonder
why we ever worried
about our extra weight.

We set up camp among the Christmas
decorations and the old choir
music and several generations
of hymn books. We sleep on cold
concrete while the worship
service swirls above us.
And soon, we know it’s time to surrender.

Our parents, people of cool composure,
refuse to bury us without a body
to prove our demise. They scan
the hospital blotters, tune
to police radios. They keep one eye
trained towards the horizon, always hoping.

We have never seen our fathers
cry. Our mothers have never hugged
us so fiercely. We wish
we had thought to take
a run through the garden hose.

We feel fluid return to our dried
up bones, as cool linen drapes
our bodies, as the bread breaks,
and the wine flows. We unclench
our fists and hold our empty
hands out to our simmering siblings.

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