Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


by Marsha Owens

The poet said she was born “to look, to listen.” I envy her self-awareness, her certainty. Still night lifted, and I languished under warm morning blankets, listened to my breath coming and going, remembered each day’s name, not marked by miracles, yet reliably present after the darkness. Warning-less, reality tromped the sunshine. I felt dragged like trash into the ugliness, the unholiness of the day. “Let them get loans,” the rich man said, “let them find food if they can and insulin. Let them struggle like I’ve never had to. Let them work for a living, like I’ve never had to. I will feed at the trough off of their backsides, a flagrant godfather with not a shred of good intent. Let them be content.”

I screamed into my soul asking what am I supposed to do? For what was I born, dear poet? I’m sure she answered in the silence folding down around the dawn.

Marsha Owens lives and writes in Richmond, VA.