“I tried and tried – he would not heed
The wisdom I was offering
That would have calmed his restless soul.
If he had shown more self-control,
All those sins that prodded him
Would have been severed, like a withered limb
From a tree that might bear so much fruit.
Oh Father, his very roots
Were gone – your loss is not so great.
All he’d learned to do was wait
For mercy from your hand.
He did not work an hour on your land
But thought all was freely his.
Do not pray for how he is;
He’s not your problem anymore.
He hung his sonship at the door
When he took your very life in cash
And ran. A son so brash –
Why search for him? I am here –
I know my place. Year by year
I’ve worked your fields,
Finding ways to increase yields
And protect your great estate.
He was always coming home too late –
Now he’s never coming back.
There’s too much that he lacks.
Look, Father, he needs tough love
Instead of handouts from above
Until he learns to work.
There’s too much duty he has shirked.
But we – we can kill the fatted calf
And rejoice that we’re better off by half
When he’s not here, and I can bet
You will not feel such keen regret
When surrounded by your friends.
If he tries sulking back to make amends,
I’ll send him back to his new home,
And let that teach him not to roam.”