is a silence one can never get back.
At 41 I still feel this tension int he way my mom and I communicate, even though we love each other and we talk regularly and there’s no real issue — every time I fly home for a holiday I can feel the stress in our dialogue. She still sees me as a kid, and even though I know I don’t feel like an adult, I know I loathe being treated like a child. All that to say, something in what you’ve written here resonates on that level. I get where this is coming from. As a reader there’s some confusion in the structure, in bits like the “What? at the end of the first stanza.
I don’t know if this will be helpful but my gut is telling me to say this — put the idea of poetry aside for a second and write out the thing(s) you’re afraid to say to your sons. Write out the thing(s) you’d want them to read if you knew they were going to read them. Just write facts from the place this piece is coming from. Once you have those, revisit this piece with those in mind. And I’d also challenge you to think about that last line from the other side, instead of “there isn’t a thing I wouldn’t do in the name of love” I’d challenge you to list the things you would do.