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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Car Trip (07/18/05)

TITLE: The Return
By Sandra Petersen
07/24/05


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A groan escaped his lips
As he lay bruised and battered
Forsaken in an alleyway
In a nightmare of his choosing.
His eyes half-swollen shut,
He shuddered with the craving,
The habit that had gripped his soul,
The madness that all addicts know
In some other time,
Some other place.

He thought of home, the love
He had renounced and despised.
If only he could find the way,
The path to reconcile his past.
He staggered out of town
With no strategy in mind
Except to keep on hitchin' rides
'Til he saw familiar faces
In some other time,
Some other place.

He thumbed his way eastward.
Many strangers passed him by,
This unkempt junkie heading home.
Some stopped to speed him on his way.
And on this path his soul
Was touched by one elder saint,
Who, in earlier years, had sown
His own patch of thorns and thistles
In some other time,
Some other place.

The prodigal returned
With a hope in his spirit
To be received as a hireling,
Not as a son or brother.
Even as the elder
Told his tale of his return,
The younger hoped for forgiveness,
Joyous reconciliation,
Like that other time,
That other place.

The addict left the car
And trudged up the dusty drive.
His heart was heavy within him,
But each step was deliverance.
Coming home, almost home,
The thought dreadful yet stirring.
His father spied him as he came.
"My son! You have returned!" he cried.
He had come back
To that other time,
That other place.


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This article has been read 1001 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr07/25/05
Your poem is intense, gripping, and powerful. Well worthy of the top 8.
Linda Watson Owen07/25/05
Beautiful comparison of prodigals in "different times and places". This poem held me and has stayed with me.
Karen Deikun07/26/05
What an intense poem. It was beautiful in every way - especially the Biblical message. Even though I knew hte story, I was holding my breath, and the poem left me breathless.
Nina Phillips07/26/05
Amen. Nicely done! God bless ya, littlelight
Phyllis Inniss 07/27/05
This is a really powerful poem and deserves a win. Beautiful writing from 'another time another place' The Return' should be placed in an anthology of poems.
Beth Muehlhausen07/27/05
The prodigal "road trip" is perhaps the best example we can hope to emulate!!
Kyle Chezum07/29/05
Awesome! This is a great poem.
Maxx .07/30/05
Excellent. This is top 8 worthy. Well written.
Val Clark08/06/05
Well written poem, Sandra. Good insights. I particularly liked :'In a nightmare of his choosing.'