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Ode on a Treadmill
Paul Hostovsky


Not the proverbial treadmill
that conjures up mice and hamsters
and us in our circular
narratives. But this new
or almost new NordicTrack
that I got for fifty bucks
from Lori Novak because
it had turned into a coat rack
and she didnít want it anymore.
I have installed it a corner
of my basement where I walk
every morning and every evening
for thirty minutes at a good clip.
And I love it, I love it, I have fallen
back in love with walkingó
I havenít felt this way since
I was sixteen or seventeen
months old: elated, exhilarated,
intoxicated to be bipedal.
Putting one foot in front of the other
somehow turned into an idiom
not long after I learned howó
it turned into words the way
the whole world turned into words
as I grew literate, literary, sedentary,
fat. But now Iím breaking a sweat,
walking around the world
in a corner. And lo, the world
is growing real again. And I am
growing younger and younger
and younger, up here on the bridge
of my time machine, the console
flashing all these numbersó
distance, velocity, vital signsó
as I go striding, gliding,
tottering, toddling
shakily off my starship
and into the shower.

© 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:
Exercise is always good!
Posted 04/20/2017 01:00 PM
Marvelous! Should I ever get another treadmill I'll remembere this and try to do accordingly!
Posted 04/19/2017 12:20 PM
Larry Schug:
Paul's poems never let me down.
Posted 04/19/2017 12:15 PM
Dear Paul, wonderful take on the Nordic Track and on life!! Thank you.
Posted 04/19/2017 10:39 AM
Belinda Veldman:
Love it. All of it.
Posted 04/19/2017 03:34 AM
I love the thought of being on the bridge of his time machine.
Posted 04/19/2017 03:25 AM

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