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Petition for a Blessing

Bless my buried secrets, Lord.
Bless the maggot mess of them.

Hold them close in your soft earth.
Grant them peace, warm beds, a hearth.

When they fatten, molt, pupate,
raise your hands to grant them grace

and veined wings so they might flee
to storied lives – but far from me.

Sanctify their sticky feet,
the sponging mouths that swill your feasts.

Bless their compound eyes, antennae.
Stay the palms that seek to slap them.

Bless the light they hurtle towards.
Let it glut their little souls

and ignite their blue-green bodies
ripe with eggs, forsaken stories.

On the Ride Back to Longview Farm
The boy stares into squares of light
that flare from inside passing homes.
The curtained windows open 
to worlds where a mother kneads 
her baby’s head with frothy shampoo.  
Another reads to a child curled in her lap.
The boy has lived in houses like these— 
has eaten at their tables, slept in their beds.

The end always begins when he strikes 
a match and stares into the little flame 
until it drops—and then rises —
like the holy angel in the burning bush 
that his mother used to rail about whenever 
he was lit by the demons she tried,
but failed, to rout out of him.

Mary Beth Hines is a Massachusetts-based writer following a career as a project manager. She writes poetry and short fiction that has appeared in journals such as Brilliant Flash Fiction, Crab Orchard Review, Eclectica, Galway Review, Literary Mama, and Madcap Review among many others. 


  1. Alec

    Staggering and consistent metaphor in Petition for a Blessing. Brilliant!

    And the darkness and loneliness of childhood is palpable in On the Ride Back.


    • Mary Beth

      Thank you Alec! I am so glad you liked them!

  2. Peggy Gavin

    I will never look at an emerging insect the same way again without thinking of my own secrets…powerful.
    Rhyme and near rhyme lulls me in wanting more and more…I will read, and re- read this one many times.

    • Mary Beth

      Thank you Peggy! I am so happy you enjoyed these! Petition is one of my favorites because it’s so chantable!


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