Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Friday, February 03, 2012


by Earl J Wilcox

Gunshot kills woman sitting at home
( Headline in The Herald, Rock Hill, SC, Feb. 2, 2012)

She was up before Monday’s sunrise, putting the sheets
in the washer, sweeping the little back porch, swatting
mid-winter flies away from the kitchen sink where

she’d left a small plate with tuna crumbs from last night’s meal.
Before her grand baby, Chloe, should arrive, she’d have
everything tidied and cleaned and stored, leaving plenty

of time for her to watch Curious George with Chloe
who always came galloping into the tiny house when
her momma dropped the toddler off around eight o’clock.

When 7:15 rolled around, Alma sat in her rocker, tilted
her head back for a brief nap, awoke when St. Peter
called her name, asked her to step lively as the morning

dew was almost gone from the deep back yard grasses
where she was hanging out her fresh wash on a peaceful
mid-winter Monday.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he is a regular contributor to The New Verse News. More of Earl's poetry appears at his blog, Writing by Earl.