That prideful young fool who ran off to the pigs
and that old man who ran to the end of the lane again,
over and over and over again, and the hearts there revealed
in the choices they made and the actions they took…
And the hard man who stayed behind, bitter and stiff
in the work to be done and estate to be gained
and the putting in place of a lazy young fool
and an old sentimental man, soft in his dottery doting…
The Shepherd related this story of hearts, common,
ordinary and intertwined with each other
in intricate detail and boring old sameness.
This story, it echoes to all in the human race, ever…but
I always ponder in my heart another heart…
What of the mother of these slanted sons
and the wife of this kind-hearted father, what of her?
The hidden mother of the prodigal son?Was she allowed to the end of the lane
to look yearningly for her child headstrong and stubborn?
Did she put her healing hand on the strong haughty
arm of her eldest, so driven and hardened in countenance?
I think that she was with her youngest child
in her heart and her mind and her lullaby songs
in the lonely nights as she was sleepless and wakeful
and weeping compassionate tears for the blindness of youth…
and then holding the household together by day,
the buffer between tender father and bitter son
cut off by care from the heart of the other…She is the one who transformed ordinary pain
into foundations of all sins forgiven,
she is the agent of grace in this story
and that is why she is unmentioned and hidden,
as quiet as grass growing, loud as a heartbeat
the roar on the far side of silence at dawn,
she pulled back the curtain of tragedy so the next
Act of Amazing Grace could flow unceasing,
filling the infinite distance between lost humanity dark
and God in Their grandeur resplendent and generous
so full of Mercy and such Lovingkindness.
The prodigal son, the hard elder brother,
the father so tender, the Shepherd so gentle
and there…Mama…pouring out
Grace on Grace on Grace.