Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, January 20, 2018


by Matthew Ford

It must have been a Tuesday when
the grey-haired white farmer emerged from his large, expensive home
far north of Herndon
but after a quick glance at the damage
he turned around
and went back
straight to the laundry room
where his Guatemalan maid leaves the dirty laundry
he grabbed an old towel and went back out
to his big white Ford F-250
to wipe the ash off the windshield
that had accumulated from the nearby fire then
he jumped in, switched on Rush Limbaugh
and drove to the gas station coffee shop
where he and his friends gather to
talk politics, condemn “illegal aliens,” and the liberal swine
in Sacramento that shut off their water supply.
they all agree
the drought is fake news
and the border wall was necessary . . . yesterday
high taxes in California are correlated to the
mass of illegals that eat up the social services
but do not pay taxes
they all sing in unison until
the one in the white F-250 stands up to take a call
from his labor contractor—“pay-droh”
who tells him the van is arriving out to the melons in Mendota
so he salutes his gang
and heads to the westside to deliver paychecks
to the workers with fake social security numbers
who worked 70 hours last week without overtime pay
and in Spanish, discussed the tax deductions
at the bottom of their pay stubs
on his way out
he stopped at the next field over
to switch on the valve—flooding it.

Matthew Ford is a PhD student studying Latin American History at Stony Brook University in Long Island, New York. He is originally from California's central valley.