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“Prodigal Avenue”

Prodigal Avenue (part 2)

shaken up, he staggers away from the scene
barely coherent, he mutters something obscene
then spits out blood so that he can savor
the flavor
of one

the low humming noise sung by streetlights
fades in and out as he stumbles, block by block,

only stopping to grind out his cigarette,
kick an empty orange juice bottle,
and stare blankly into the night sky—

thinking again
of Father

he remembers an abnormally kind daddy
who is fluent in the language of love
for all of mankind—even
those who aren’t quite lovely, and

maybe even for a wayward son walking
down a dead-end-street

but it’s said that all roads lead to home,
so he suddenly turns around


written for the Thursday Melting poetry prompt at rosemary mint

36 responses »

  1. sorry I missed the prompt, But I do like your poem, and wit on the ending. it made me laugh, cause i could see it. all in all it’s a clever poem, love the title.

  2. My very first reaction is, “Is there a part three.” Please?
    Love this especially: “even
    those who aren’t quite lovely”
    Also: “then spits out blood so that he can savor
    the flavor of one last smoke”
    “the low humming noise sung by streetlights”

  3. Yeah I concur with charles…I’m not a huge fan of poetry (because I don’t ‘get it’) but I like the way you were able to create a great image with these words. Well done.

  4. I hadn’t seen Part 1, but this stands alone as a well-crafted piece. Thanks for sharing.

  5. nice…i like the continuation and the realization that home is not as far away as we often think it is…and i hope the father is there with open arms…nice man….

    • I wanted to leave that open…I envision the father being there with wide open arms for sure…that’s certainly how it plays it in the Biblical account, which was my inspiration for the allegory.

  6. I enjoyed this poem a lot! I like the way the words tumble, and their placement that makes the eye wander, it all adds to the rhythm – great work! 🙂


  7. I must confess that I’m still trying to process these fully. I think I’m just too distracted right now, although this second part pulled me in & made me feel… something.

    • A wife & mother distracted? I can’t imagine how that’s possible!?! 🙂

      I’m glad they made you feel, and I’m so appreciative of the time you’ve taken to read and comment.

      Did you notice I mentioned you in an earlier “versatile blogger” post?

  8. That last couplet is genius… No matter which way he turns, he cannot escape, if escape is really what he wants to do. Well done.

  9. The ending is very strong, here, and your getting into his thoughts seems very natural. I like the continuation of the story as well!

  10. Wow! Very very deep! The story of the prodigal son is a beautiful depiction of love and redemption and your writing complements it well! I love it 🙂

  11. You wrapped it up nicely. I like the ambiguity of it. Did he turn because he wasn’t ready to go home just yet or to go home. It could read either way I think.

  12. In the first stanza, I like the last few words broken up on short lines. Like the rhyme and alliteration.

    “then spits out blood so that he can savor
    the flavor
    of one

    This is exactly like a smoker (or a sinner) … no matter how bad things are, just one more cigarette (or whatever the fix happens to be) will make things a little bit better.

    You’ve done a great job painting the scene in both of these poems. I especially like the last line, the way his turnaround is sudden. That’s how we are when we finally decide to fix things. It doesn’t really work when it’s a gradual change. It’s got to be abrupt and matter-of-fact.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with this week. I picked some challenging words, but like I said in the prompt—feel free to turn them into other words if you don’t like them.

    • Somehow, it always seems you choose the “perfect” words for me to use. I think it’s only been a real “struggle” to figure out what to do one time. Every week other than that, the words have just kind of “led me in the right direction.” And sometimes a very surprising direction!

      As always, thank you for taking the time to express the layers you see beneath the poetry. You really are blessed with an amazing gift for interpretation!

      • Thank you, sweetie. I want the words to push everyone to write things they wouldn’t normally write, especially me. Feel free to do anything you want with today’s words. You always come up with great stuff. 🙂

  13. purpleowltree1234

    Even though I find this poem confronting because of my own father (not in a good way), I can see the depth here and the beauty in unconditional love, here. I’m glad to see you writing about stuff like a person at their rock bottom. Keeps it real. Awesome. I’d be glad to see Anyone writing about this kind of stuff! 🙂
    Love from Rach


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