caroline plasket

About This One Juxtaposition

My grandmother's grandmother, my great-great-grandmother, if you must know, disconnected, yet not so far removed, was a triplet who was born in a time when pregnancy drafted women like numbers. This fertility moved through their bodies, until it reached me, at nineteen, unsuspecting. I took a pill each day; swallowed it into the pit of my insides where it was supposed to make me a bonafide draft-dodger, but we can't all become teachers or move to Canada. Then there was the visit to a clinic where the only woman I met, the only person I met who didn't treat me like a condition, like the-taste-of-metal-in-the-mouth-enemy, offered me options. I left deciding to let the growth inside of me bloom into itself while I, daily, bent over the toilet vomiting into my hair with every muscle in my young body. And you know, you don't know—my great-great-great grandmother had a cold room where a spring burst forth the day her triplets were born, the day she couldn’t get away from, it burst with enough flow of cold water to store the pumped breast milk (keeping it safe), landing at her feet like a songbird stopped at the edge of a river in the middle of a war. And for every homecoming story with long kisses and yellow flowers, places where no one remembers bad breath, stray dogs, or returned orphans making their beds out of park benches and concrete pillows, there are ten stories ending in an unwanted envelope.


Caroline Plasket lives in the Cincinnati area. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Spoon River Poetry Review, Compose, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Phantom Drift, and The Hollins Critic, among others. She was a fall 2016 mentee in the AWP Writer to Writer Program.