The family at dinner: in the moment
between the last fork being put down,
and someone deciding to collect the plates,
in that moment, he spoke:
I’ve something to tell you.
His words - reluctant, strung out -
dredged up funeral gossip,
a tangled family who’s who,
a distant aunt’s wedding gift.
Now, years later, I can’t recall
his exact words. Did he start by saying
your grandmother, she wasn’t my mother,
your aunt, the one in Australia, she’s my mother?
I do remember I said thank you,
as he passed me his plate, as
pieces of a puzzle fell
into the secret he had kept
from his children,
his history common knowledge,
his paternal silence broken
rather late, I thought.