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Max Heinegg

Religion in the COVID Wing

Waking, we see her glove the door, adjusting
her cloak, light capped in the shadows
of the morning ward, her bearing the proof
of faith I have mocked my entire life

bowing to us, frightened father & child
whose fever is breaking up. What fortune
she would leave the realm of light to find us here
pinned to the bed, startled from a blanketed chair.


The baby in the COVID wing is crying
during quiet hours. Through the glass,
I see the source, just sitting up,
the parents on both sides attending.
Knowing to be here meant it was in danger,
as my child was, in our room, because a strain
of the virus forces the heart to stop its own
& all the insurance & human eyes on micro-
scopes, & every money-driven ingenuity
cannot guard, only monitor. The child’s cries
did not pierce, because I believed it would live.
Not for innocence, or virtue, or mercy, but
for youth, a divine shield she was given
that this day guarded her life.

Max Heinegg is an English teacher and singer-songwriter who lives in Medford, MA. His recent poems appear or are forthcoming in 32 Poems, The Cortland Review, Thrush, Nimrod, and Kestrel. His music can be found at


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