Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


by George Held

My wife sleeps on the couch,
Fagged out from late nights at work all week
And entertaining out-of-town friends
Last night and marching in the antiwar
Demo this afternoon on a sunny winter’s
Day. We showed up because we knew
We’d never be as tired as our troops
In Iraq , and because we want them out
Of there. We showed up out of habit
Because we marched in the winter
Of ’03 to try to prevent the war
And in ’05 and ’06 to try to stop the war
And yesterday we showed up, like sheep,
To try again to end the war. We joined aging
Veterans of protest against Vietnam
And the first Gulf War, peacenik
Teachers and students, old Trots
And Socialists, even members
Of the Revolutionary Communist Party,
USA —all of us smelling of must or mothballs,
Needing a haircut or shave, bundled
Up against the late-winter chill,
Barely able to keep the antiwar chants
Going a full minute, hoisting our placards
At a thread of spectators, a few clapping
But most gawking like out-of-towners
At this ragtag spectacle of druids
Performing their vernal rites long
After their religion had obsolesced.
Four years after Shock and Awe
Slammed Baghdad and shook our faith,
Six years after our war leaders were sworn
In, and three months after the Dems took over
Congress and changed not a thing,
We showed up again, our hope as threadbare
As the clothes of the oldest Lefties on parade.

George Held's chapbook W Is for War (Cervena Barva Press, 2006) contains two poems nominated for a Pushcart Prize.