The bunting was hardly down,
and the bones of the feast hardly
buried in sand, when the prodigal son
started to cause flurries of unease.
He found the old place provincial;
the servants over-familiar; the close kin —
well, he merely raised an eyebrow
at the close kin.
And yet, established in the best room,
he showed no sign of leaving.
His father gloomed round the fields;
his brother kicked the cattle troughs.
The voice of the fatted calf spoke
to the father from the ground and his message
was of forgiveness. You can’t always get it right,
it said, and I bear you no hard feelings.