Persephone, Out Past Curfew | Katherine Hoerth

The story’s almost a cliché, my tale
that everybody tells and tells again.

This time it’s you – a moon-eyed teenaged girl
that slips out through her window in the night
to join her wild friends, perhaps a boy
her age or maybe older by a year

or ten. You dance beneath some neon lights
to remakes of the country songs your parents
sang along to. Or you’re underneath
some strobes that turn your hair azure, a mask
of darkness covering your giddy smile.
Or maybe you’re beneath the stars, an open
fire, cicada songs of summer fill
the air. The details differ but the story
always goes the same: your parents catch

you in the act, a father with a shotgun
or a mother with a face that’s twice
as dangerous, her anger rustling
her bathrobe, curlers always in her hair.
And then the tug to bring their daughter back.

But it’s too late for you because you dipped
your toes into the night and you’re in love
with it. Play innocent and cry: Oh mom
you rescued me! while yearning for the night
when you’ll return for just another taste.

You scrawled your number on his palm; you shook
the slipper from your foot so he’d find you
again; you swallowed every pomegranate
seed you could before she yanked you home.
Admit it – you’re like me. You couldn’t wait
to fall so fast from grace it feels like flying.




Katherine HoerthKatherine Hoerth is the author of The Garden Uprooted (Slough Press, 2012), a poetry collection. Her work has been included in journals such as Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Pleiades, and Front Porch. She teaches English and creative writing at the University of Texas Pan American and serves as poetry editor of Amarillo Bay. She lives in Deep South Texas with her love, Bruno, and their pride of lazy house cats.



One Response to “Persephone, Out Past Curfew | Katherine Hoerth”

  1. Olga Valle-Herr January 5, 2015 at 5:17 am #

    Loved this poem, reminded me of own escapades in my early teens!

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