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Hospital at Night

March 17, 2010

by Una Nichols Hynum

the belly of a whale
throb of a great heart
heavy breathing

dark and light by turns
I drift in the sway
of a giant kelp bed

small nudges on my body
minnows nosing a hand hanging
over the side of a boat

all around me nattering sounds
high-pitched blips
that seem to have nothing to do with me

message from across the hall
You’ve never told the truth
in your whole life


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Una Nichols Hynum writes, “Old fashioned, I like a book in my hands and have never submitted to on line journals before. It feels like I’m sending my poems off into the ether. But why not?”

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  1. Karen Stromberg
    March 17, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Welcome to the ether, Una. I’ve always loved this poem and you read it beautifully.

  2. Merry Speece
    March 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I like this. The last two lines were a surprise; they really make the poem.

  3. Mary Mueller
    March 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    A new experience to hear you on my computer, but Una I really enjoy hearing you read your poetry in person as your presence goves evem more meaning to the poem.

  4. oriana
    March 19, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    The alien environment of the hospital being like a kelp bed (think of the algae-like tubes!) is brilliant, as is the whole submarine setting, and the unexpected ending. Oriana

  5. Kathleen Elliott Gilroy
    March 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    The ending lines reinerate in a new way the reality of the circumstance and place of personhood when in a hospital. Wonderful descriptions, as with all of your poetry. Congrulatins on expanding your audience, Una! However, I agree with Mary Mueller: there is an added relationship element of entering the poem when you read before a live audience.

  6. Megan Webster
    March 20, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    What a treat to hear you read in an online magazine, Una! I love the extended metaphor of your poem, especially details like “sway of a giant kelp bed” and minnows nosing.” Can’t wait to hear your next offering!

  7. April 9, 2010 at 10:57 am

    The poem, without pretense or too much “trying,” very successfully evokes the conditon of one in a hospital bed. And the close stirs the reader to thoughts of all those occasions when something heard at random seems somehow perfect.

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