Prodigal Sun

I hold 2 of my dad’s fingers

             He’s a great guy

             Especially when your hands are little

Going to the better store in town

             after he washes up almost ceremoniously

             and after We cash the cheque

Prepping food and laughter, good times follow

Sunny barbeque, It sounds better in French

             Skewered from the beard to the tail

             de la barbe à la queue

Cutting gristle from the edges

             Hollow belly feeds on protein

             times are good

Stories of the old days

             His abilities secured a good, decent job

Afforded roofs above our heads

             Food on our plates

             Footings on upward mobility

There’s a lot of competition

             But I get college

             I get work

Dad used to preach against the pensionless jobs

             He first felt trapped

             Then dignified with steady work


The Gig Economy bites down

             I bought the cheapest razors

Bargain grocer, a bus ride away

             It’s too humid in this sunlight, screw the ride

maybe I’ll get the five dollar combo from nearby

             Lard and starch drenched fatty edge morsels

             Of leftovers stir fried, unholy alchemy

Ass scratched by one ply toilet paper

             Caged in dimmed low energy domicile

             Power bill’s a bitch

Sheepish when I consider telling him there’s no room

             In a junior studio bachelor’s

             Or other euphemisms for living in a closet sized trap

             In a giant city

I know they’re sick and old and 

             I’m guilt stricken by my absence

I hang my head in shame on the phone 

             but try not to spell that out

             or let him feel that pose

I put out my hand, a small hand still, only 

             Phonating what I know he’ll refuse:

Why don’t you and mom come live with me? 

He says he’s proud of me, and that We’ll not bother while it’s cold out son

             let’s wait til summer(,) Sunshine

times will be good, we can do up a feast.

Sam Kaspar

Sam Kaspar was born in Canada, is of Lebanese heritage, and works in Iowa as an orthopedic surgeon. He writes part-time and prefers topics of nature, existentialism, social justice, emotion, heritage, memory, etc. He's had over 30 publications so far of his poetry & prose in Snapdragon, Decomp, Tiny Seed, Rigorous, Burnt Pine, Weasel, Tower, Wingless Dreamer, and others. In 2020, he was a finalist in Vallum's poetry contest, and Iron Horse's year-end ekphrastic challenge as well as their prose chapbook contest. He also sees literary value in his previous scientific publications, although the language there is in part statistical - he's okay with that because he definitely 'speaks math' as well as loving wordplay and concept-rich poetry. Facebook page reading: Sam Kaspar the writer @MightySamster

NOVUS Literary and Arts Journal
Lebanon, TN