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.
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.