Much later, she could see they’d colluded.
The two of them against him once again.
She remembered how all that day
the thunder prowling in the mountains
had muttered in their throats;
the piano a sullen lake; the way the house
had filled with their own weather.
As Scrabble set in for the evening
it was there in black and white:
how they’d occupied one corner of the board,
her mother’s rack a clot of consonants,
hers all vowels, like wordless cries.
Costive and small, their blocks
accused them, refusing to spell out
a word as long as forgiveness.
The television sucked her father’s face
into its glare, and had him cursing
as snow wiped out the film.
They sat silent while he swilled old griefs,
his shaking hands clasping a glass
he’d never finish emptying.
Recalling their alibis – her mother tucked up
with a whodunit, the girl following her father
out to the garage to settle the cat –
it’s clear now that when the glass exploded,
showering the empty kitchen with glittering dust,
the storm had caught the authentic note of the house,
pausing merely to run its finger round the rim.