Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Monday, May 21, 2007


by Rochelle Ratner

Leave it to the newspapers to get it all wrong. He was pulling the
rowboat behind his car. But he didn't run the light, he was turning
the corner. The trailer lurched when he hit a pothole, and it might
have dented a car parked near the corner. He didn't stop to look.
His wife was slumped next to him in the front seat, having trouble
breathing. They never made it past Columbia Presbyterian
Hospital, let alone to that lake up in Westchester. By the time the
ticket reached him she was in a coma. He read it to her, mixed in
with get well cards from their friends and neighbors, but she
showed no reaction so, he doesn't know, maybe he just left it there
on the windowsill, maybe he tossed it into the trash. She's the one
who filed everything neatly, paid the bills on time, sent donations
to the PBA, the Police Athletic League, and the Red Cross.

Rochelle Ratner's latest poetry books include Leads (Otoliths Press, 2007), 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.