Monday, December 16, 2013

Paul Hostovsky


A kind of Robin Hood
taking from the health care industry
and giving to the little guy, the little
fingers, the little paper cuts and dry cracked hands
that needed to be covered. A kind of
John Henry going up against the engine
of the mega-hospitals,
marching into those waiting rooms
and turning off the televisions. A kind of
Johnny Appleseed turning off televisions
wherever he went, for the benefit of everyone, especially
the future generations.
And when they called out his name
in those hospital waiting rooms,
he was a kind of John Doe
or John Q. Public following the nurse
into the little examining room
and waiting there all alone with his body
and his backpack
for an eternity for the doctor to come—
plenty of time for appropriating
lots of Band-Aids and tongue depressors,
and rolls of surgical tape and gauze,
and maybe, come to think of it, some of these
elusive little boxes of tissues
that one finds in hospitals,
for the little guy
who can never seem to find them
when he needs them.

Paul reads "Stealing Band-Aids from Hospitals":

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Paul confesses: "I always steal a few Band-Aids when I'm waiting for the doctor to come. The longer he makes me wait, the more Band-Aids I steal. It's my little addiction, my little vindictive kleptocompulsion, which I engage in all alone in the little examining room, and which this poem examines and tries to justify."

PAUL HOSTOVSKY is the author of five books of poetry, most recently Naming Names (2013, Main Street Rag). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and two Best of the Net awards. He has been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer's Almanac, and has been a featured poet on the Georgia Poetry Circuit. To read more of his work, visit him at

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