This Is Not a Confessional Poem

I’d write about it but it’s all so anti-
climactic. Never a hand raised, hardly a voice;
just silence, heavy as a collapsed pillow fort
on a rainy Sunday when we were trying
to stay out of the way but ended up endlessly underfoot.
Storm clouds and cigarettes, an audible sigh. Listen,
I’ve spent fifty years not talking about it,
the simmering rage that never broke the surface.
Now I wonder if my mother snapped pencils in the kitchen
or tore the newspaper into confetti.
There had to be something other than the vodka
that got cheaper over the years, some form of escape
larger than the flower patch, the tulips lining the drive,
the lilies my mother dead-headed on her knees,
shears furiously clipping.