Tag Archives: Divorce

Coming Home (1940)

How often I have wondered about my grandfather, when he came home from work to find his family gone and his house empty.  Having recently experienced divorce myself, I could not help wondering about his grief as I wallowed in my own.  He died before I was born, so I know him only through stories.  I think I would have liked him.  I knew and loved my grandmother.  I do not judge or blame either one.  I am sure they each did their best.  Now it is up to me to do mine.

COMING HOME (1940)

The man came home
from his lab at Utah oil
to find
an empty house.
The rooms stared,
bare, open-mouthed.
She had left,
taken with her
his own little tribe:
Weezy—6
Sonny—5
Wiggy—3
Gone.
The man sat
against a wall—
it does not matter which wall—
he sat and
he cursed and
he roared and
he sobbed and
he rocked and rocked and rocked and rocked
as he sat
on the floor
against a wall,
looking at the white walls,
looking at rectangular patches
on the white walls
where portraits and landscapes and mirrors had hung,
looking at white textured cobwebbed ceilings,
looking at the fixture with the bulb burnt out,
looking at the worn tan shag,
worn except where the sofa had been,
where he sat,
against a wall,
wondering how, and where, and why
everything
had vanished.

Roger is the author of Rabbit Lane: Memoir of a Country Road.  The book tells the true life story of an obscure and magical farm road and its power to transform the human spirit.  The book is available in print and for Kindle at Amazon.  See Rabbit Lane reviewed in Words and Pictures.

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Smashed

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I have lived alone for 1 year now: 52 weeks: 365 days.  The highlight of my life is to see my children.  They grew a gorgeous garden this year, and shared with me their harvest: sweet corn; swiss chard; cucumbers.  And a pumpkin.  Their front porch is adorned with two dozen perfect orange pumpkins.  Hyrum and Hannah offered me one, perfectly round, with a spiraling stem. The pumpkin reminded me of them each night when I came home from work.  It looked so cute sitting by the front door, until one evening I found it smashed on the rocks.

SMASHED

To Whoever
smashed my pumpkin:
I wondered
how long
my pumpkin would survive
you.

Not long.

My little daughter
raised this pumpkin
in her garden.

I love her.
I do not get to see her much.
I miss her.

So, I set by my door
her pumpkin, my pumpkin.
It reminded me of her.

I dared to hope
you would let it be.
But you smashed
my little girl’s
pumpkin.

(PS.  She gave me another yesterday.  One can hope.)

Separation

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The week I moved out I began singing again with the Salt Lake Choral Artists, a 200-voice audition community choir.  I needed the music.  Music to soothe my anxiety and sadness at being separated after 25 years of marriage.  At times waves of sadness crashed over me, ground me into the gravel of life.  I needed the music.  Our Christmas and holiday repertoire included some of the most moving melodies I had ever heard.  In one rehearsal the director shouted at me, “Everybody is singing here!”  I nodded, but my throat was choked up and tears stung my eyes.  I needed this music.  Still, the long drive “home” after rehearsal on dark, freezing winter nights, terminating at my construction zone apartment, mattress on the floor, wardrobe in my duffel, the thermostat set at 50, brought the waves crashing again, the music notwithstanding.  This poem attempts to describe that difficult time.

SEPARATION

The cold brings it on,
and the darkness.
The long drive dredges it
up, even after
the singing, after
three hours of wonderful
singing, the long winter drive
to a place that wasn’t home,
where I shivered in my bed
and thought of the woman
that used to be mine.