Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, November 19, 2017


by Marsha Owens

Volunteers Mary Akemon (left) and Alexandra Marcus and, with Let America Vote, talked with Farrukh Kahn as they canvassed a neighborhood on Friday, October 27, 2017 in Woodbridge, Virginia. Let America Vote, formed by former Democratic Missouri Senate candidate Jason Kander debuted its electoral field operations in Virginia with a field office in Manassas that drew 114 interns from across the country to help knock on doors for 10 Democratic delegate candidates. (Pete Marovich/For The Washington Post)

Lo, in the year two thousand and seventeen,
I walked among Democrats and knocked
and the young woman, wearing a friendly
smile, opened the door to me and said,
yes, we will vote tomorrow
for the one who is good to all people,
to my black family and to my Muslim
neighbors, the one who does not hurt
women, does not steal from the poor,
and I said, that is good, and my gaze
fell on the old woman on the couch,
her hand patting the tiny baby,
and she asked me to name names
of the others who care about others
and I showed her the list, and she
rejoiced and was grateful
and I saw, too, the man seated on a stool,
the old woman’s foot on his knee,
and I watched this young man wash
the feet of his mother-in-law who was lame,
saw him file her splintered toenails,
and my eyes did not deceive,
and his child—an old soul—waved her
baby hands, and his young wife spoke
again—do you see what my husband is doing?
and I saw, then turned away, walked through
golden leaves and the sun reached down, and I
heard nearby loud voices praising Sunday
football and seemed to hear heavenly voices
sing blessings for this holy shit, and within
the loudness, a small voice, maybe my own,
whispered, This is good stuff, damn good stuff.

Marsha Owens lives and writes in Richmond, VA and celebrates her roots in the Chesapeake Bay area. She is pleased to say that she survived 18 years of teaching English to middle schoolers. Her poems and essays have been published at The Wild Word, Feminine Collective, Rat’s Ass Review, TheNewVerse.News,The Literary Nest, and the Dead Mule School of Literature.