Home World Literature The Prodigal Son – Poetry from Romania

The Prodigal Son – Poetry from Romania

The Prodigal Son – Poetry from Romania

I will come back, mother,

But you won’t make out your son.

I’m so old, mother

And I carry in my heart backpack like

The ashes of alienation!

[author title=”Florentina Loredana Dalian” image=”https://sindhcourier.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Florentina-Loredana-Dalian-Sindh-Courier-Romania.jpg”]Florentina Loredana Dalian is a Romanian writer, who by profession is a chemical engineer. She is also the member of the Professional Journalists Union of Romania and other Cultural Associations. She was born on 29 March 1968 in Bucharest. She writes prose, poetry and plays and publishes in different literary magazines. She has published eleven books: seven of short prose, two novels and two of poetry books – Miss Nobody, and Isle. [/author]


Prodigal-son-1The Prodigal Son

Mother, I am a prodigal son

I squandered both my love and years.

I knocked to all the hearts’ doors

Nobody’s home

Dried out are my lips

With the heat of so many missed kisses.

I went winged away from home

I fed myself on dreams

But carobs are what I was now left with.


Sometimes in the evening

I remember the sun setting behind our hill.

Ah, mother

There was a time I could see only the sun rising.


How are you?

Are your tears as salty

And quiet 

As my heart pounding

For an unspoken love!


I will come back, mother,

But you won’t make out your son.

I’m so old, mother

And I carry in my heart backpack like

The ashes of alienation!


Don’t tell

Don’t tell father to slaughter the fatten calf

Make but the fire in the room

I yearn to seeing the light of the flames

Dancing on the white walls

You had whitewashed before Easter.

And neither

And neither hire fiddlers

What’s the use of it?

All I want is to hear your song

That you were singing when my being in the cradle.


Do that!

Wait mother for your prodigal son

For he will come back

Some day!


You see, my daughter, that’s the war,

You have time to think at nothing,

Most often than not you’re on the edge!

I served at the border troops,

It was a starry night, with a fragrance of freshly scythed hay in the air;

Wherefrom hay? When only the grim reaper walks by along there

Who brought that Russian in my line of fire?

I challenged him curtly: Freeze or I’ll shoot!

Sergey or what the heck was his name

Stuck his hands in the air and mumbled in Romanian:

Don’t shoot! Kids!

The poor bastard fished out the photo and put it over his heart

Now you shoot Mitica, shoot you son of a bitch!

you, who’ve never culled a chicken in your life,

Hurrying up to the pub on the pig slaughtering day,

Shoot, you soldier, don’t you hear me?

I armed, that was shaking all over,


I fired in the air and shouted at him: run for your life!


Then again: freeze!

He froze still,

I took off my coat and put it over his shoulders

Not to make it out those behind the lines

We looked in each other’s eyes; his were blue,

I glimpsed the sky through.

Ever since then, my daughter, I see the sky looking like two eyes

In a night redolent of scythed hay, gun powder and death

But life prevails even in war.

He tossed me his gold watch,

(He might have been an officer. I don’t believe privates will have had something like that)

A rap gold is not worth in war,

I asked him nothing, I wanted to give it back to him,

He ran away.

I stood still with the watch in one hand, the rifle in the other,

I pictured myself as a traitor

But how could you whack a man at such close quarters,

Especially after having put his kids over his heart?

I need no gold, but the watch I keep

I look at it and remember

The night when I felt like having been God

And your granny holds forth my not being a good Christian,

Not going to church

Supposedly about to fall in hell,

But I had lived my own hell out there, on the front,

And I say maybe the Heaven will open up for me, too,

Opened by the eyes of Sergey, or what the heck was his name,

As were that night looking like the sky.

That’s what I think… but who really knows?

The Fair Had Come

And it was fall and a nip was in the air

The fair had come with halvahs and sideshows

The gypsies had settled down over the valley

We were leaving school late

The darkness had fallen and I was scared.


Zolea, the class wash-out, says

“I walk you by, it costs you a halvah”

It’s fine for me – I say – and you a farthing

Each time I give you my notebook in the break to copy the exercise. 

“Deal; it costs you nothing.”

He walked me past the valley, waiting by the gate until I let myself in.


The following day I looked with another eye upon him

He seemingly grew taller

And nor so witless did he appear to me.

“You see, my dear” – I felt like hearing my grandma’s voice –

“Nobody should be laughed at,

God had given each of us something…”