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Complicity through silence – this is what makes

her as much the abuser as if she’d touched

her daughter herself. And Mum would’ve taken

her mother’s silence with her, except dying

brings out the worst in us, surfaces poisons

 

corrosive to the armour of denial.

My mother’s mother, keeping mum for decades:

sweeping all the hushed things into her daughter

till she’d made of them a child she couldn’t bear.

No wonder Mum grew cold, bitter, cancerous,

 

cocooned by a womb spun from hurt disallowed;

trapped until her death freed both her and the truth.

Who’d have guessed she’d erupt into confession?

To ease her final hours they gave her morphine.

There was nothing they could give her for those years.