2 Poems: The Prodigal Son Returns Home and Joshua
6'4". 220 pounds.
He fills up my apartment with the smell of his cheap cologne tinged
with just the slightest trace of tobacco.
His dirty white socks hide under the ottoman; one, grey, dingy heel peeking out.
His black, leather kit with the Raider emblem rests on my bathroom counter; toothpaste, floss, nail clippers, a clear, cylinder-shaped case of toothpicks, and one shiny, Trojan packet spilling out.
In two days time he's already gone through a gallon of whole milk, two heads of lettuce,
a bowl of fruit, two pots of pasta, and half the meat in my freezer.
I hear him laughing on his cell phone, "Hey Dawg, I'm in town. Whudja doin'?"
My solitude is shattered; my sensibilities shaken by the blatant presence of testosterone.
But my heart is soft.
"Mommy," he yells. "What's for dinner?"
© Birdstory Publications 2005
"I love you a whole bunch," I say.
"I know." he says
and runs off to watch TV.
I hear him singing with Mr. Rogers.
He wants peanut-butter
and jelly sandwiches
the eighth day in a row.
Separate knives for jelly and butter.
With a child's precision
he quarters his sandwich
brilliant blue on newsprint
on the table
on the floor
sky splattered on the wall.
Quiet time, we lay down together
He presses his back
into my stomach.
His eyelids close,
ears flush pink.
His heart beats
against the palm of my hand.
My shirt is moist
from his sleeping sweat.
I close my eyes too.