Richard Wile, author of the novel Requiem in Stones, lives in Brunswick, Maine, where he plays clawhammer banjo in old-time music jams.

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The Prodigal Son Redux

by Richard Wile 08-02-2022
A poem.
An illustration of the prodigal son being embraced by his father both enveloped in luminous flames.

"The Return of the Prodigal" / Grace Carol Bomer

All I wanted was work,
not the old man’s joyful tears as he ran down the hill.
I was afraid he’d fall or burst his heart to kingdom come.

Now what?
My head still pounds from yesterday’s wine, father’s ring hangs heavy on my finger,
and after all those years of pea pods, my stomach aches from too much fatted calf.

I didn’t want that damn banquet,
my older brother pacing outside the door, muttering into his beard.
But he’s right: he deserves a party more than I do.

And next?