Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, March 27, 2021


by Jenny Middleton

because we have to buzz—home safe—home safe—
yes—me too—home safe
peppering What’s App with the obvious
because we walk gripping keys
between middle fingers
harrying skin
with shelled expletives
hoping the only use of their jagged
steel edge will be to unlock
the front door
we think—can’t stop
thinking of
your last walk home
caught on keyhole camera
casual, then
over Clapham Common
we light candles, Sarah,
watch them blink
in the shadows of ringed shadows
at the base of trees
and lay flowers in a crackle
of cellophane
against the fear
of dark emptied spaces
and words that spit
from a policeman’s mouth
sticking this in you
kidnapping, murdering, mutilating
leaving you in a builder’s sack
only identifiable by your dental records
in Kentish woodland
crimes unlovely as the sick
absence of spring leaves
un-grown on laurel trees.

Jenny Middleton is a working mum and writes whenever she can amid the chaos of family life. She lives in London with her husband, two children and two very lovely, crazy cats.