A Soft Knock

"You may house their bodies but not their souls"
a soft knock at the back door
eyes hesitant, hair and beard disheveled
how long had he been gone
fueled by an alcoholic rage, he'd left way before Christmas
winter had not been kind to him
here he was
like a beggar
at the back door
sorry, mom, haven't had a drink in five days
the voice shook, the pleading eyes searched mine
need a place to stay
just for a few days

don't make any promises, I told him
recalling with regret times past
I grabbed his fragile shoulders
and pulled him into the kitchen
come in, come in
you must be hungry

can't enable
but can't give up on him
it's my son's soul I pray for
"for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow."

—Kay Prosser