This poem, 'Life and the Mystery of Modern Prodigals' has been written by a friend of a mother who is affected by her child's substance use:
“We are intelligent.”
“Yes, Dear Ones, smart yes, but sometimes crazy fools, blind to your own good.
Like the prodigal son, keen to climb the stairs of worldly experience-
temptations of course unsuspected.
Keen to leave behind the gift of love bestowed at birth,
drawn by the powerful presence of peers;
disdaining the wisdom of fossilised years.”
The parental gaze sees the headstrong gait, the confident trail into life’s minefield.
With respectful restraint, they wait,
longing for the sound of homeward bound steps.
Grieving inside for their beautiful child, with heartfelt sighs and prayers, the Parent sets the prodigal
free to exert their rightful willpower; carve out their own path.
To don ’trendy’ clothes labels and adopt ‘cool’ disorders-
adding to their sense of importance, though unconfirmed by medical experts.
Mind alert to conspiracy theories,
but dull to common sense truths that protect wellbeing;
exchanging uniqueness for common likeness.
The Parent hears the click and bolt to the years of active parenthood,
acknowledging loan time is over for the borrowed gift.
Time to give back that which was never their own,
trusting a higher power with the phoenix touch that will raise the wanderer to life anew,
delete false ties and reconnect them to dormant rivers within.
From the mountain top the Parent views with alert eyes, the movements of a familiar stranger.
A lone figure casting off a borrowed, suffocating robe;
body dejected, feet trailing, the occasional sigh of apprehension evident.
Via the glazed youthful eyes, the parent hears the crash of splintered dreams, lying in jagged heaps along the path;
mirroring the shards of their own nights of broken sleep.
No time to think, only run and embrace.
“Welcome home, Wanderer,
there is room at this inn.”
Copyright to Adfam, 2020