Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Sunday, September 09, 2012


by Earl J. Wilcox

Image source: PeakCare

You might not see at first glance a wolf
in sheep’s clothing—neat jeans, scruffy shoes,
slicked-down hair--yet he dressed the part:
a destitute man seeking funds for surgery
for a cancer-sick son. His insistent ringing
of my doorbell startled me from a noonday
nap, cause enough for me to grouse, despite
his amiable face, infectious smile.

His cloak of smooth speech, humble look,
smiling sick son’s photo woke me enough
to ask his phone number instead of handing
the man money on the spot. Days later,
the little lamb is the picture of good health sitting
on his mom’s lap in a newspaper exposé of the wolf.

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.