Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Friday, February 24, 2006


by Carol Elizabeth Owens

“People said they hoped I would fall & break my leg, using the n-word."
– Shani Davis

an “i” appears
in team. look closely— you
can see it on the ice. a cool
distance. a swift glimpse to-
ward our past.
the race

does make
a difference.
discrimination will
test the mettle of tainted gold
moments— the u.s. weighs
in: “we won!” yet
no warm

handshakes, or hugs.
hate loves to hold on. there-
fore the medal is never light.
thus, olympic rings sting
like that anthem
we sing—

“oh say
can you see.” how
this victory pains me!—
a foreign nation sustains me
as the u.s.a feigns
“does it

me?” probably.
but watch as i move on—
high speed and full circle. check out
my reflection when faced
with the impact
of race.

Carol Elizabeth Owens
is an attorney and counselor-at-law in Western New York (by way of Long Island and New York City). She enjoys technical and creative writing. Her poetry has been published in several print and virtual publications. Ms. Owens loves the ways in which words work when poetry allows them to come out and play. The poem "in the face of a race" above is written in a form called eintou (which is West African for "pearl," as in "pearls of wisdom").