Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Monday, November 23, 2020


by Mark Williams

Cartoon by Clay Jones

Dear Joe Biden,
My name is Austin Baggerly. I am eleven years old.
Today my social studies teacher Ms. Kornblum
chose me to be you and Donnie Capshaw 
to be the President since his name is Donnie.
She said she would teach us about the Democratic proceeds.
First me and Donnie should give speeches to our class
which meets on Zoom cause the virus
the President said would go away did not.
So I put on my mask and sunglasses like you
and said I would beat the virus and bring our class together 
and Donnie put on orangy makeup and his grandma’s blonde wig
and said he would make our class great again.
Next Ms. Kornblum asked everyone who liked me 
to raise their hand and 15 people did 
if you count Jacob Dickinson who raised his cat’s paw
which everyone but Ms. Kornblum thought was funny.
Joe Biden, there are 25 kids in our class
which means only 10 kids raised their hands for Donnie
but Ms. Kornblum said that even though I won
we had to count hands again if we want my and Donnie’s election
to be like yours and the other Donnie’s. This time 
Emma Peterson looked around the screen
and smiled and raised her hand for Donnie Capshaw
when last time she raised her hand for me. Anyways,
that means I still won 14 to 11. Right? But Ms. Kornblum
said that even though I won fair and square 
now if we want our class election to be like your election
we have to wait and let Donnie Capshaw 
whine about our votes like an eleven-year-old
before I can be class President. She said 
this is an example of frickin democracy.
What did Ms. Kornblum mean, Joe Biden? 
Do some votes count for more than one? 
Why did Ms. Kornblum start crying
before she Zoomed away? 
                                           Yours truly,
                                           Austin Baggerly

Mark Williams's poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Rattle, Nimrod, and The American Journal of Poetry. His poems in response to the current administration have appeared in The New Verse News, Writers Resist, Poets Reading the News, and Tuck Magazine. He raised his hand for Joe Biden in Evansville, Indiana.