Romanian Grace

The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

21 December, 2006


There's this sculpture in Chattanooga that I love. It sits in this little stony alcove off to the side of an otherwise very modern (UGH-LEE) sculpture garden. I used to go there with my paternal grandmother and grandfather; after my grandfather died I went there alone or with my grandmother.

My sister just came for a visit, and among many exciting and wonderful aspects of our time together, she brought along a couple of pictures my grandmother took of the statue, one of which you can see below, though crooked. I had been trying to poeticize the scene for a while, and having the picture helped. Below the picture is the poetic attempt.

Statue of the prodigal son in the Bluff View Art District sculpture garden

As long as that river…
(He seems to be saying)
As long as that river,
a hundred feet down
and a half-mile across
unwinds itself
between these folded mountains
will we stand here
entwined in one another’s
robes, tattered from the old

Now held fast,
bronzed in embrace,
words fail the one who
wandered—“Make me
like one of your hired
men.” Unspoken—
wondering at love
felt from the
One, long-waiting,
in whose arms he is


Post a Comment

<< Home