These Things We Don’t Talk About

by Caroline Plasket

The garbage truck missed
the recycling can this week

and even though I called them, it sits
at the curb like a balding man waiting

for a date that isn’t showing; the streetlight
reflects off of its long yellow top. My

children hang from me any chance
they get as though I am a tree and life

is strong wind. They want to crawl back
inside of me, I’m convinced, and who can

blame them? Hell, any statistic they give
you on the number of American alcoholics

is far lower than the real number. I am
hiding from it all on this old porch watching the can

at the curb get lonelier as the sun sets and the gray cat
chases the dark one. I don’t think she remembers

that it is her daughter. She smells under her tail
each time she greets her as if there’s something

to it. When the kittens were
nearing seven months old they still tried

to duck under the warm boat of her body
and take her milk, but she took to hissing

at them when they came near and the kids called
her a hateful thing, but I let her sit on my lap,

stroked her soft fur, and felt
the long, slow tremor of her purr.


Photo credit

About Caroline Plasket

Caroline Plasket's poems have been published or are forthcoming in WomenArts Quarterly Journal, Rise Up Review, 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 the Cincinnati area.

Photo credit

Caroline Plasket

Caroline Plasket is online at