Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


for Betty Friedan

by Laura Madeline Wiseman

You who doesn’t tote mace
or own an oversized mutt
or check your car at night
and the closets before bed.
You who doesn’t bother
to learn self-defense kicks
or watch your drink when out
for a too steep decline
from a one drink drunkenness.
You who never gave up
on pretty in favor of safety
while reconciling desirability.
You who never thinks twice
about the neighborhood
leering from slow cars
never jumping at cat calls.
It’s you who says we’re
overreacting and nothing more
than man-hating lesbian cunts.
It’s you who won’t get it
until it’s your sister or your
mother or your wife
or your daughter and then,
it must’ve been how she dressed
a signal that said she wanted it
and deserved it and needed it
or it wouldn’t have occurred.

Laura Madeline Wiseman is an award winning writer teaching at the University of Arizona. Her works have appeared in 13th Moon, The Comstock Review, Fiction International, Poetry Motel, Driftwood, apostrophe, Moondance, Familiar, Spire Magazine, Colere, Clare, Flyway Literature Review, Nebula, and other publications. She is the Literary Editor for IntheFray and a regular contributor to Empowerment4Women.