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Paul Hostovsky

Those men with frogs
in their throats, those women
wildly screaming as though
the frogs had gotten out
and were hopping around
all over the stage
always cracked me up
though it made my Aunt Edie
cry, silently to herself,
leaning in closer
to the scratchy old radio
above the kitchen table,
her head bowed slightly,
her glasses in her hand,
while me and my cousin
were playing cops and robbers
or pirates chasing each other around
and around the kitchen table
and into the living room where
we took turns dying
operatically on the couch,
those men and women keening
with Aunt Edie in the kitchen
while we giggled and bled to death
wriggling on the floor.
© by Paul Hostovsky.
Used with the author's permission.

Paul Hostovsky starting writing poetry in the fifth grade, inspired by his novelist father. Today, he is the author of more than a dozen books and his award-winning poems have been featured in a wide variety of print and online journals. Paul lives in Boston, where he is a sign language interpreter. Learn more about him at



Post New Comment:
Larry Schug:
Nothing like radio, even in this age. Just listen to a ballgame. That proves it. As others said, good p9oem on a lot of levels.
Posted 06/07/2012 12:54 PM
Your poems are always a treat! Phyllis
Posted 06/07/2012 11:18 AM
A layered poem on the many uses, and possible limitations, of art. The radio,with its opera, was the prominent center of their lives.
Posted 06/07/2012 08:37 AM
Splendid! You more than capture both the imaginative play of children and Aunt Emma's wistful listening--and of course the substance of grand opera. Bravo!
Posted 06/07/2012 08:29 AM
Ralph Murre:
What a great poem. Yes, dying operatically is the only way to go.
Posted 06/07/2012 07:39 AM
I love it! What great images!!
Posted 06/07/2012 07:36 AM
Bravo, Mr. Hostovsky ! This is brilliant.
Posted 06/07/2012 06:05 AM

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