Thursday, November 11, 2021

Hearts Too Full by Ann E. Wallace

It has been a year
since my doctor wheeled
me through the bowels
of Mt. Sinai to the emergency
wing, worried about my heart.
A year since I sat on her table,
legs dangling over the edge
as I swooned and faded
to dark, dizzying ellipses
in our talk of the long tail
of the virus that would
not quit, that still does not.

It has been a year
since fifty-odd friends
sent love and luck as I waited
in my curtained bed to be cleared
and released. I reaped
their blessings, left for home
with no answers, but survived,
even if this is not yet
what we might call living.

But two whose wishes
held weight beyond words,
streamed to me across our city
for fourteen, fifteen months
of terror, until they could
no more, leaving me
to wonder, had they been
more selfish, held their luck
closer to the bone,
might they have steeled
their own hearts,
which in the end beat
too hard and too full
for this world of sorrow.

Ann E. Wallace, a poet and essayist from Jersey City, New Jersey, is author of the poetry collection Counting by Sevens (Main Street Rag). She is online at and on Twitter @annwlace409.

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