Ann Wallace


(listen to the poem, read by the author)

Every night interminable runs on repeat,
the false victory crushed upon waking
as I check my sleepy math
and count the short hours—
three and a half, maybe three.
Sometimes fewer.

My hands tingle and numb,
head tightens and pounds,
fingers of pain curling
‘round my temples,
the pillows too hot, too thick,
my shoulders ensnared
under twisted covers,
my feet boil and kick free
as I flail for comfort.

Darkness and oxygen run low
in tandem by night,
as the pressure grows fierce—
pounding, churning.
I squeeze my eyes,
cradle my skull and stifle the wail
bubbling within.

The nights, they are interminable,
but the mornings, they are worse.

Back to Top of Page | Back to Poetry | Back to Volume 15, Issue 3 – Fall 2021

Spring Song

(listen to the poem, read by the author)

The sirens
cry the soundtrack
of this silent spring
a wail intertwined with birdsong
by day,
with my daughter’s dry, dry cough
through the night,
life and death bound together contrapuntal
on and on
so that I no longer hear the sirens,
until I do.

Back to Top of Page | Back to Poetry | Back to Volume 15, Issue 3 – Fall 2021

About the Author

Ann E. Wallace, a poet and essayist from New Jersey, has been documenting her experience with long COVID since March 2020 when she and her daughter fell ill. She is author of Counting by Sevens (Main Street Rag) and has previously published work in Wordgathering, as well as in many other outlets, including Huffington PostSnapdragonCrack the Spine, and Literary Mama. She can be found online at and on Twitter @annwlace409.