Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Saturday, October 04, 2014


by Anne Graue

A woman found an unusual reptile near her home in Hudson, Maine this week - a two-headed baby snapping turtle. Kathleen Talbot said she went to watch turtle hatchlings cross the road to make sure they each arrived at the other side safely. She noticed one of the turtles had been left behind. "I thought he had two feet in the front. I thought he was deformed. I didn't realize it was two heads until I got him home and washed him. Then he came to life-- and was just starving," she said. She has named the turtle Frank and Stein. Talbot said she doesn't plan to have the dynamic duo as a pet, but does want to make sure Frank and Stein survives. --Kacie Yearout, WLBZ September 25, 2014 Image source: NEWS CENTER

Born as if he knew
there would be difficulty
in deciding the path to take
and needed help
in choosing the way to go
and thus was created

a new perspective a new
argument, modern,
attached to one turtle body
inside a shell protecting

all but his two brains working
against and adjacent
to the matter of his choice.

Or perhaps he didn't know
and this fluke of snapping
turtle DNA would haunt him
throughout his days

of living in a push
and pull world weaker
from having to decide

on the simplest things
which leaf is tastier
which path is greener
which road is safer

which mind to sacrifice.

Anne Graue lives, writes, and teaches writing in New York's Hudson Valley. Her poems have appeared in Compass Rose, Ginosko Literary Journal, The New Verse News, and The 5-2 Crime Poetry Weekly