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“Prodigal Avenue”

Prodigal Avenue (part 1)

shiny new sports car lurching
into the wall of a faded building:

copper metallic paint smudged and smeared
all over slaughtered bricks and skewered siding
“I miss Father”—
his last thought before blacking out

hours later, trembling hands swiftly sift debris
hoping to find some semblance of a life left behind

prickly membranes hold together memories
of the Dad who grilled steaks and
served them with a side of asparagus …

meals he enjoyed

before the slimy stories of a scaly serpent put him
in the seat of a too-fast-car on a pot-holed-street
crashing head-on into the “Pig-Out BBQ”


Written for the Monday Melting and today’s dverse prompt, which is to write an “allegory.” One of the suggestions is to use a Biblical story as the inspiration for our poem today. I think it’s quite obvious which story I have chosen. 🙂  Check back for part 2 in the next couple of days.

45 responses »

  1. Love this!

  2. wow, u said a lot in that. it was great

  3. I was thinking prodigal son til the Snake got in there–so perhaps garden of eden–either way, enjoyed it.

  4. Ha ha ha!! 🙂 Love it!

  5. So vivid. So tragic. Tears.
    “slaughtered bricks and skewered siding”
    “trembling hands swiftly sift debris”
    “prickly membranes hold together memories”
    and every word of the last stanza—
    “trembling hands swiftly sift debris” is an image I tried to capture in my last chapter today. Curious thing.

    • Thanks L 🙂 How cool of you to share your fave lines. Curious indeed that we wrote of the “same image” today—should I be worried? lol

      As always, thanks for your words and your encouragement.

      • No lie and no worries. This is what I wrote: “I tore the lid off and furiously sifted through the contents.’
        You are welcome.
        BTW, you taught me the value of pointing out favorite lines.

        • I look forward to reading the words surrounding that sentence! 🙂

          I’m glad I’ve passed along something “useful” 🙂 I actually gained that insight (sharing fave lines) from my wife, so truly I have “passed it on.” But I do see tremendous value in doing so for both the writer & reader.

        • Thank you for the insight given in your final comment (to which I could not reply directly because it featured no “reply” button). I always wonder what people would prefer a response to: the actual words/sound of the words or the topic of discussion/meaning of the words. I know a writer would like to have feedback on both, but I wonder what is most helpful. I personally am more concerned with how people feel about the words I’ve chosen and how I’ve put them together.

          • Shawna, I think it depends on both the genre and the writer. For me, a prose writer and nothing close to a poet, the ultimate is having a reader point out something purposely subtle that was particularly meaningful to me. It means they are really reading, not just skimming. But any genuinely favorable comment means the writing is not in vain and provides the motivation to keep on keeping on.

          • There is much poetry to be found in your prose…

  6. Great job! Not cool to two-part us though! I’ll be watching for the rest!

  7. I’m glad you took it in this direction and used that part of the prompt. “I miss Father–” great line. Thanks for sharing this one.

  8. smiles…being a bit of a prodigal myself, i hear you…there is some nice irony in this as well with the thoughts of food and him crashing into the bbq joint…smiles….the prickly membranes line is really cool…

  9. You drew the picture well, I especially enjoyed the end.

  10. such a great play on the prodigal son..strong images here and put into a modern environment…like it much

  11. I found you through the lovely Linneann.

    I love your poem It’s truly vibrant. I feel like I’ve just watched the whole scene.

    Have a great weekend.

    • Thanks 🙂 She is a lovely person, isn’t she?

      Enjoyed your blog as well….looks like you’re making great progress with your “101.” Hope to see more of you around here, and I’ll definitely be visiting your blog more often.

  12. good stuff, especially like the contrast of the meals — the grilled at home memory vs the flying head first into ‘pigging out’.

  13. Love, love……..LOVE. What’s not to? Very clever allegory, and it wrenched emotion out of me, too – bonus. I have to pass this on :). So interesting!

    • “Pass it on” writes the girl who just recently posted about hymns 🙂 That’s my fave song in the hymnal!

      I’m delighted that you enjoyed this enough to think it is worth sharing!

      • Aw crap, now I’m worrying that my ADHD zipped me right out of here & I didn’t pass it on! Ah well. Friends can’t get too much of this. Scrolling back down through tweets…maybe I’ll post like on my FB fan page. What do you think??

        • lol…no worries! You’re welcome to share or not…I’m just honored that you read and commented. By the way, I read your most recent post but haven’t commented yet…so we both are prone to “moving on” when we have the best of intentions. 🙂 It’s a great post!

  14. The modern day temptations at work. I look forward to part 2.

  15. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award ! My Nominees ! « xoevelynortizhasspoken

  16. LIke the fact that he missed “Father” right at the end – when it’s too late. And how fitting that he crashes into the Pig Out BBQ — fitting for his life of seeming excess.

  17. Great modern day portrayal of the story. I like your choice of words! Oh, that avenue that leads to destruction and demise and some of us are going full speed ahead. Well done, my friend.

  18. I did quite a bit of exclaiming over this poem when you first shared it with me…

    These are my favorite lines:

    “slaughtered bricks and skewered siding”
    “trembling hands swiftly sift debris”
    “prickly membranes”
    “pot-holed-street” (and the embedded drug reference)
    “crashing head-on into the Pig-Out BBQ” (with the reference to excess, indulgence, and the pig pen in the “prodigal son” story)
    the flashy sports car and the way we destroy our gifts
    the meals he enjoyed before he was led to believe they weren’t good enough

    I very much enjoyed this poem, sweetie. I hope you’ll continue writing for my prompt every week; your work is always fantastic, creative, and entertaining. You are a wonderful writer.

    • You make my day with comments like this. Really, it is always a bit of a shock to me when you are so enthusiastic about something I’ve written. Just because I know you are such an amazing writer & I know you read lots of really great poetry.

      No matter what you are analyzing, you are able to find so much hidden meaning (as well as obvious) 🙂 Seriously, I love the way you are able to draw so much out of even the simplest of poetry. Now I understand why you always searched for the “extra” meanings of my words when we were newlyweds…lol…you’re just deep like that! Sorry I’m not 🙂

      The word prompts have been fun; I’ve enjoyed them more than I ever imagined I would. And I really look forward to doing it each week, even if I’m “behind schedule” and it doesn’t show up until later in the week. Just looked over this week’s list a bit earlier.

  19. purpleowltree1234

    I love your graphic, no-filter poetry. Wonderfully crafted!! 🙂
    Love from Rach


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