Ken Wolman: How Jake Handles Divorce

Home from college for winter break
he calls me from his mother's,
too early on a Sunday morning.
"Let's go out to Queens, to the bone orchard,
when should I pick you up, about 10?"

Call it indeed an orchard where
bones live and memories ripen.
But like the city of the living,
there's not a tree in sight, nothing
to break the monotony or
stop the winds.

Jake sets stones on the graves,
observant for those seconds of his history,
unshifting, carved, and gleaming:
reverent of the grandmother he knew,
venerant of the grandfather
whose name he bears, who died
before he was born.

"So guys," he whispers to them,
looking back at me,
"you're in the place where
your son has finally grounded YOU."

My parents remain, consistent here
as they never were in life.
They will stay still til we return.
I drive Jake home to the house of the spirits.
I may roam it still, unquiet,
while his mother cooks leftovers.