The Prodigal

Dark morning rain
Meant to fall
On a prison and a schoolyard,
Falling meanwhile
On my mother and her old dog.

How slow she shuffles now
In my father’s Sunday shoes. 
the dog by her side
Trembling with each step
As he tries to keep up. 

I am on another corner waiting
With my head shaved.
My mind hops like a sparrow
In the rain.
I’m always watching and worrying about her.

Everything is a magic ritual,
A secret cinema,
The way she appears in a window hours later
To set the empty bowl
And spoon on the table,
And then exits
So that the day may pass,
And the night may fall
Into the empty bowl,
Empty room, empty house,
While the rain keeps
Knocking at the front door.

Charles Simic

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