Prodigal

By Bob Hicok b. 1960 Bob Hicok
You could drive out of this country
and attack the world with your ambition,
invent wonder plasmas,
become an artist of the provocative gesture,
the suggestive nod, you could leave
wanting the world and return
carrying it, a noisy bundle
of steam and libido, a ball of fire
balanced on your tongue,
you might reclaim Main Street in a limo
longer than a sermon, wave at our red faces
while remembering that you were born
a clod hopper, a farmer’s kid,
and get over that hump once and for all
by telling A Great Man’s stories—
the dirty jokes of dictators, tidbits
of presidential hygiene, insights
into the psychotropic qualities of power
and the American tradition of kissing
moneyed ass. Your uncle would still
call you Roy Boy, pheasants
sun themselves beside the tracks,
waiting for the dew to burn off
before their first flight, and corn
grow so high that if you stood
in the field you’d disappear, the fact
aiming your eyes down the road.

Hicok, Bob. “Prodigal” from The Legend of Light. Copyright © 1995. Reprinted by permission of The University of Wisconsin Press.

Source: The Legend of Light (University of Wisconsin Press, 1995)

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Poet Bob Hicok b. 1960

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Coming of Age, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

 Bob  Hicok

Biography

Bob Hicok was born in 1960 in Michigan and worked for many years in the automotive die industry. A published poet long before he earned his MFA, Hicok is the author of several collections of poems, including The Legend of Light, winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry in 1995 and named a 1997 ALA Booklist Notable Book of the Year; Plus Shipping (1998); Animal Soul (2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Coming of Age, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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