Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
Leave a comment

An Ode to Paul Hoover


Secret
The caterpillar munching on hair
beneath your scrub cap

Rebellion
A hearse with a “Soccer Mom” sticker
On the back window

Ululation
Listening to your heartbeat through a tin can

Heretic
Eating pudding with the cafeteria’s
last plastic knife

Denizen
A “good evening” to the rising sun

Effortless
Sinus bradycardia

Lady
Two tightly tied hospital gowns
and covered feet

Glacier
I hear your IV pole squeak from down the hall

Cinnamon
A Peaceful death

Zenith
A last pack of cigarettes
washed down with Blue Moon

Heirloom
Your scrawling signature on a consent form

Incense
The tools that touched you in an autoclave
then pouring bleach on the bloody linens

Peace
Thinking of your smile
without documenting its droop

Author’s note: This poem is inspired by the work and style of Paul Hoover, an American poet who is currently a professor at San Francisco State University. He is well known for his anthology “Hairpin Turns,” where he would pair words with unexpected metaphors. Each stanza is independent of the others and yet somehow they tell a story when put together.


Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.


Mallory Evans (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine


Mallory Evans is a third-year medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science degree in cellular and molecular biology and a minor in German. When not studying, you can find her running many miles on woodland trails, perfecting a black bean burger recipe, or saying answers to Jeopardy! out loud at the TV. One day she hopes to pursue a career in pediatrics or obstetrics and travel to at least one place on every continent.