The Longest Road

How many days did he walk,
mulling over words he would say
to a father scorned and insulted?
Replaying scenarios in his mind.

Still so focused on himself
all he could think of was,
“I will say this and he
will probably say that.”

Reliving each burning memory.
Scourging himself for past deeds.
Recreating pain and misery.
Kindling the blaze of a private Hell.

And if for a moment he considered
forgiveness, he quickly threw fuel
on his pain until it exploded
with all thought of mercy consumed.

At home, a father’s love burned.
Thinking only of his son’s return,
not a second spent on past deeds—
the fire of hope sustained him.

A father filled with the
cremating blaze of compassion,
turning all memories of sin
forever into ash.