A reading of LindaAnn LoSchiavo’s “The bones of the hospital”

Here follows a magnificent poem by my friend LindaAnn LoSchiavo, read by me. Click this link to the reading

The Bones of the Hospital
(Le ossa dell’ ospedale)

We’re making a novena for grandpa.
I stumble on words like leukemia,
Don’t understand bone marrow transplanting.

Before my father goes to donate his,
We’re having bone soup. “It’s nutritious food,”
Explains my mother. But the real reason’s
Because we’re broke, my classmates like to taunt.

I wonder if physicians will respect
Grandpa if neighbors hate poor foreigners
Like us, whose kitchen windows don’t emit
Aromas of expensive T-bone steaks.

Dad’s rich in health, the closest match. He sighs,
Vado in ospedale!” Miracles
Depend on faith but don’t discriminate.

One time in Stromboli, a ledge gave way,
Eruptions tearing up the crust beneath
His feet, and nonno reached out for tree bones,
Dangled all night till rescuers arrived.

Volcanoes are impartial. Which divine
Did grandpa put in charge of destiny?

Disease erupts like blowholes. Lava’s kind
To crops — — then turns destructive hot-spot god.

Perhaps le ossa dell’ ospedale
Are saints that guard red wards of surgery,
Restore the safe ground under human feet.

Strong bones of hospitals exist in dreams,
Protecting patients, blocking the cold room
Where promise goes, supplying nourishment.

Dad visits gramps. Hope is a fire revived.
Marrow’s like monks who chant for his to rise.


LindaAnn LoSchiavo is a dramatist, writer, and formalist. Her poetry chapbooks Conflicted Excitement (Red Wolf Editions, 2018), Concupiscent Consumption (Red Ferret Press, 2020), and A Route Obscure and Lonely (Wapshott Press, 2020), along with her collaborative book on prejudice (Macmillan in the USA, Aracne Editions in Italy), are her latest titles. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and SFPA.

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