If God is that sublime moment

in the story when Jesus said,

“And his father seeing him afar off . . . ”

which could mean, of course,

that he had been watching every day for years,

longing for him,

straining to see him afar off”

it’s that afar off that moves me . . .


or perhaps he only watched

in the late afternoon

thinking he would try to get home before dark,

or early in the morning

after pressing on all through the night,

or at high noon

when his father stood

shadowless under the sun

and remembered his son’s

innocence and sweetness . . .


or perhaps it was just by chance

he saw him

when he looked up

from repairing a harness

or tying a new broom

or from a nap in his favorite chair,

suddenly there he was,

his lost son

coming home . . .


or perhaps he only saw him

because it was his birthday”

his,

not his son’s”

when his eldest,

forgetting the persistence of an old man’s dream,

said, “Make a wish, Father,”

and he did

and looked up . . .

seeing him afar off.