Ann E. Wallace

April Mud

I sat in my yard today for the first time
in weeks, no, the first time this spring,
and as I sat, a light rain spattered around me.

I sat a little longer, feeling the sky darken,
the shadows grow sharp, and the birds sing
more brightly, as spatters turned to drops.

While I sat, men on Hart Island in airtight
hazmat suits worked side by side in the rain,
digging muddy trenches for fresh pine boxes.

The men on Hart Island buried last month’s
dead who waited two weeks, alone, unclaimed,
together in city morgues filled past capacity
to be interred in plain boxes on a wet April day
while the birds in my backyard sang.


Ann E. Wallace has been writing poetry and essays as she recovers from long haul COVID at home in Jersey City, New Jersey. Her poetry collection, Counting by Sevens, is available from Main Street Rag (2019), and she has published work in Huffington Post, Crack the Spine, Riggwelter, Snapdragon, The Literary Nest, and other journals. Her work can be found at and on Twitter @annwlace409.

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