January 11, came from JFK,

Had an Art Show Reception scheduled for the next day;

First words upon waking were not “Modeh Ani,”

But instead, “Hashem, please grant my life to me!”


Felt so sick and dizzy, could hardly move,

Couldn’t take a deep breath, my lungs felt bruised;

The stabbing pain wouldn’t stop, from my head down my neck,

I was rocking and crying, a total wreck.


The doctor said, “Do what you gotta do!”

Three extra-strength Tylenol, plus Tamiflu;

Made me light-headed and stupefied

But, at last, thank G-d, the pain did subside.


My sinuses felt frozen, couldn’t register smells,

Only medicinal chemicals;

The fevers hit when the sun would set,

Woke up five times nightly, drenched in sweat.


I’d line up replacements, they were never enough,

Had to run to the dresser for wearable stuff;

Whether cotton or something much less comfortable,

I had to get dry till the next interval.


Couldn’t lie down on my back or side,

Felt tremendous weight, or a tearing inside;

Couldn’t think of food,

Could hardly speak,

Couldn’t look in the mirror,

Dropped ten pounds in a week.


My arms looked like twigs, ready to snap,

Like a tree in winter, drained of its sap;

But I held on and prayed, and looked for the good:

A warm, cozy home, friends who understood.


In four weeks I recovered,

My lungs took eight weeks more;

But I know I have so much

To be grateful for.


Whether COVID or not, I was under attack,

But Hashem, in His mercy, carried me back;

When I think of how close I came to death,

I smile, thank Hashem,


…And take a deep breath!


By Sharon Marcus