Mary's Hair

Prodigal by Tim Haut
A blackbird keeps watch From the top of a tall cedar, His feathers glossy In the early spring sun. A dusty road Spills from around a bluff, Which casts a long shadow Across the greening fields. There he comes, This lean, broken boy Who has spit in the eye of the world, who has swaggered as far from the farm in the boondocks as his old man’s money could take him, who has danced with the devil till he was nearly dead. He is defeated, bent, hungry, lost, and there is only one road left to try: Home. He is afraid that he has burned all his bridges. He has nothing good to show for these months away. He is prepared for a locked door, a dead end. And then he stops in his tracks at a ruckus up ahead, stops to grasp this miracle of a thing. It's the old man himself, racing through the dusty sunlight, arms wide, crazy with love. Tears stream down his wrinkled face in pure, plain joy. "My son," he blubbers into the boys tangled hair. Even the blackbird knows that this is heaven, or as close as it gets around here. He fluffs his warm feathers. sings, sings. (Comments to Tim at