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Picture 10683597, Rembrandt, The Return of the Prodigal Son, circa 1668, image copyright Mary Evans / Iberfoto

The Prodigal’s Feet
by Sheila Jacob

 

Dropping to his knees

he sheds the dead skin

of a sandal

gambled for

at the road-side

and half a size

too large.

 

He won’t retrieve it,

try to dignify

beggar-feet

he cossetted

with perfumed oil

the morning

he left home.

 

Nothing’s hidden

from the day’s

returning light.

 

Nothing’s outside

his father’s

merciful love

 

not even scarred

mismatched feet

that skated

wine-soaked gutters,

trudged through

the pig-pens

of a foreign land.

 

 

© Sheila Jacob

Picture 10683597, Rembrandt, The Return of the Prodigal Son, circa 1668, image copyright Mary Evans / Iberfoto

 

 

Sheila Jacob was born and raised in Birmingham, and lives with her husband in North Wales. She resumed writing poetry in 2013 after a long absence. She’s had poems published in Sarasvati, Reach Poetry, The Dawntreader, The Cannon’s Mouth, Clear Poetry and The Blue Nib, amongst others, and on various webzines including Atrium and The Poetry Village. In March 2019 she self-published a chapbook of poems, Through My Father’s Eyes. The poems form a tribute to her father and his working-class upbringing in Birmingham.

 

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