Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, August 10, 2006


by Mary Saracino

The color of money’s the only skin-tone sanctioned
by the Feds. Green with envy, green-eyed monster,
eat your greens, grow strong on the green, green grass
of corporate greed; we’re green-as-all-get-out here
in the good ole U.S. of A. where freedom’s just another word
for privilege; if you got greenbacks, you got access.

The ones they call illegal seek greener pastures, too,
places to grow families, reap a prosperous future.
Cough up enough cash and bypass the militia-manned
borderlands. Legit as legal tender, there’d be no need to
cross crushing rivers, endure stench-filled sewer tunnels,
the suffocating trunks of rusty cars, or play dodge ball with SUVs, Hummers,
mini-vans on teeming highways — to gain entry into the land
of free enterprise, the home of the so-called brave.

America averts its eyes from the huddled masses.
Our melting pot boils with rage; somebody’s gotta pay.
How dare they think they deserve a chance to scrub our toilets,
pick our crops, tend our gardens, build our over-priced condos,
change the linens on our ritzy hotel beds, steal sub-par wages
from our citizens who refuse to clean up the mess we’ve made of democracy,
refuse to piece together the tattered remnants of our country’s
most precious commodity: justice and liberty for all.

Mary Saracino is a novelist, memoir writer, and poet who lives in Denver, CO. Her newest novel, The Singing of Swans, is to be published in October 2006 by Pearlsong Press.