The Prodigal’s Mother Speaks to God
When he returned a second time,
the straps of his sandals broken,
his robe stained with wine,
it was not as easy to forgive.
By then his father
was long gone himself,
leaving me with my other son, the sullen one
whose anger is the instrument he tunes
from good morning on.
There’s no room for a man
in the womb.
But when I saw my youngest coming from far off,
so small he seemed, a kid
unsteady on its legs.
what will you do? I thought,
remembering when he learned to walk.
Shape shifter! It’s like looking through water—
the heat bends, it blurs everything: brush, precipice.
A shambles between us.
Allison Funk is a poet and Professor Emerita at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Her latest book of poems is Wonder Rooms from Parlor Press (2015). She has published four other books of poems: The Tumbling Box (C&R Press, 2009); The Knot Garden (Sheep Meadow Press, 2002); Living at the Epicenter (Northeastern University Press, 1995); and Forms of Conversion (Alice James Books, 1986). She has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and prizes from the Illinois Arts Council and the Poetry Society of America.
Debie Thomas: firstname.lastname@example.org