Two posts reflecting the aftermath of a divorce, by Jennifer Santos Madriaga
The Final Anniversary
Thirteen years was marked by
the passing of just another day—
the only fanfare was created
by our son, the living keepsake
of our now finished union.
He toddled and played with
his wooden trucks and trains,
pushing them around while
voicing his own version of
sputtering sound effects.
And I was the audience
who oohed and aahed over
his haphazard caravan.
Now it is just our son and me.
And the little dog is the one who
forms the trio of the family tree.
We sat on the living room floor with
the door ajar, and the changing leaves
from the hickory out back supplied
the afternoon glimmer through the windows.
I waited for something to happen that day.
And nothing did.
Even our son made no mention
of you, and the dog napped by my feet
like there was nothing to note.
“…she woke sometimes to feel the daylight coming
like a relentless milkman up the stairs.”
And once morning settles in, and I’ve shaken off
the stupor of dreams that concern a former life
where I picked out shirts and ties for a man
I no longer love, I step out into the sun to walk the dog,
who knows which way to go despite the chronic
state of my own uncertainty about where to go next.
Life is different, but is it better?
I ask the clouds to give me a sign, and they shift
accordingly to the direction of the wind though
I’m not fluent in the hieroglyphics of the heavens.
What messages am I missing in those wisps
that curl like feathers or waft like a dragon’s exhaled breaths?
The dog pulls me along. He says the only way is forward.
My God, it is that simple though I look behind my shoulder,
still wondering, still hoping for that miracle to erase my doubt.
Jennifer Santos Madriaga has completed several residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Byrdcliffe Arts Colony, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, including the international location at the Moulin á Nef studios in Auvillar, France. She recently received a 2010 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists grant from the Durham Arts Council and NC Arts Council. Her work has appeared in Bamboo Ridge, Bellevue Literary Review, Crab Creek Review and others. Her website is www.jenmadriaga.com.