Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars...

In fourth grade one of her textbooks was called Rocket to Mars.
She remembers the red-haired boy who sat next to her, sometimes
looking over at her paper, who never gave her a second glance
outside the classroom. She wasn't about to let that happen again.
Still, even when she entered the Naval Academy, women
astronauts were about as real as Cinderella.

Let me see what life is like...

Her husband and sons understand how it is when you work long
hours – even the errand boy becomes like family. Closer than
family. And she's no different than a million other women. Walks
into a room full of men, and immediately selects the one she'd like
to be with on a deserted space craft. All those days and nights side
by side, then he didn't end up accompanying her after all.

On Jupiter and Mars...

She's driven this Houston to Orlando route hundreds of times,
faster than a speeding bullet. She squeezes into diapers, babying
herself. She remembers how it was that first time she squeezed into
the boots, and the orange jumpsuit (like they wear in Attica), and
the space helmet. She was defying fantasy, not gravity.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Balancing Acts (Marsh Hawk Press, 2006), Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, 2006) and House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003). She is the author of fifteen previous poetry collections and two novels (Bobby’s Girl and The Lion’s Share) both published by Coffee House Press). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage.