Caroline Plasket

SOMETIMES MY MOTHER IS A CHILD

I need to pull her out of me.

I need to reach inside and feel her glide smoothly

from the pink. So I am no longer

heavy with her.

 

I can place her in front of me

like a china doll, and examine the way

the pain that makes her lips is perfect.

And the way there is sheen to her hair

 

like something unreal, like heat on the blacktop road up ahead in the summer.

I can study the way the whiteness of her skin

is flawless until it meets the seam where

dried glue pokes through,

 

and under the bloomers the porcelain is chipped

and begs to be filled with things

like boxed wine, or my father, or caring for children

that have grown and gone, and decades later she clings

 

to that feeling of “doing it all”

so much that she thinks she still is as she

floats inside of a house that is five sizes

too big, dusts clean spaces, and

 

vacuums the leaves from the yard when the days

are long and the nights are calling from the distance

like owls on a branch that have recently dispelled eggs,

hooting in wonder at the emptiness.

BEADED

 

The meat wasn’t drained.

In the sink the empty pan sits,

and orange beads float at the collected water’s surface

They are a lustrous symmetry. Later,

I am full with your nectar. Somewhere

in the ocean a whale fills with krill.

I have drawn in the parts of you I want,

and let my body—my mind, filter the rest like baleen.

We lie in the bed: two

oil beads floating on water, no words left

for the artistry of everyday.

About the Writer

      Caroline Plasket's poems have been published or are forthcoming in Compose, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, The Tishman Review, and The Hollins Critic, among others. She was a fall 2016 mentee in the AWP Writer to Writer Program. She lives in Northern Kentucky with her family.

 
 
 

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