Ann E. Wallace


One year into the long tail of this virus 
I find things I do not recognize, 
veins bulging that once lay flat, flacid pouches 
where muscle lived and flexed, fine lines 
and crepe-draped skin puckering
above the vee of my shirt. I have plucked 
stray white hairs from my temples,
dabbed flesh-toned cream on the dark 
hollows beneath my eyes, been awakened 
each night by hot pain gripping 
my arms, shoulders, head.

I am learning to find solace 
in the wearing of my flesh,
in the pulsing reminders of this hard
fought year, each one a mark
proclaiming that I am still here.

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 has published work in Huffington PostWordgatheringHalfway Down the StairsSnapdragon and many other journals. She is online at and on Twitter @annwlace409.