Mary Beth Hines

Put Out the Light

Put out the light and then put out the light
again. Long day done, Mom and Pop tuck
us in, clink glasses, turn the Coltrane up.
The saxophone sways, pivots, erupts.

I climb under sister Maisie’s covers
where goose down muffles, and I can barely hear
the stutter of their feet, the bump and jeer
when one missteps and the other one stumbles.

Maisie’s older so she knows what’s what.
Tells me not to worry. Says it’s how they love.
Sometimes grownups kiss. Sometimes they cut.
It’s hard to explain, but some like to draw blood.

Put out the light and then put out the light. Crack.
Bang. Maisie hugs me. We sleep tummy to back.


Mary Beth Hines writes from her home in Massachusetts, following a career as a project manager. Her poems have appeared in Blue Unicorn, Crab Orchard Review, The Blue Nib, The Galway Review, The Lake, and The Road Not Taken, among many other journals. She is working on her first collection.

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