Poetry: Hostovsky

Hegemony — by Paul Hostovsky

Three of my cousins are deaf.
But I have lots of cousins,
so the deaf ones
were always in the minority
at family gatherings
where they’d commandeer a couch
or the kitchen table and juggle
their hands. It was a language
the rest of us didn’t understand
because we never bothered to learn it.
Their conversations and our conversations
sailed along contiguously
like ships passing in the night
or like an English frigate passing
over a Deaf submarine during
detente. One by one they got married
to three deaf spouses. So then there were six.
And one of them ended up having
two deaf children. So then there were eight.
Eventually they all divorced
and remarried other deaf people
with deaf stepchildren and deaf exes
and deaf in-laws and deaf
cousins. And before we knew it
we were totally outnumbered
at the family gatherings
and consigned to a corner
of the sectional, whispering
and ducking the flying hands,
feeling rather small
and blind, like moles or voles
trembling in the shadows
of the raptors.


See more excellent poems in Sabio’s Poetry Anthology

About Paul Hostovsky: This is the second poem I am posting by Hostovsky.  See his info here.

My Impressions: Again, an example of the sort of poetry I enjoy: it is not aloof, flowery and most of all, it is not obscure — it is not trying to be poetry.  My lady’s mother is deaf and I have learned a little of this world from times with them.  This poem is funny, but at a deep level, very serious about the title of the poem — something each country should fear. To tuck in such a deep message like this, is a real art!

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