Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Thursday, April 15, 2021


by Laurie Rosen

When I gave birth to my son without the aid 
of narcotics or an epidural, pain searing, I called 
for my Mama. A grown woman, already a Mama 
and I called for mine. 

It wasn’t something I planned, the cry shot out 
my grimaced mouth, my husband sitting by my side, 
a nurse coaching me on. I shouted for my Mama 
because somewhere in my subconscious I believed 
no one else but my Mama could relieve me of my pain.  
Not even the man who loves me could do that. 

When I heard George Floyd called for his Mama,
(not his girlfriend or brother) I thought, Of course he did. 
Who else but a Mama might rescue a son from the grip
of a cop determined to strangle the life out of him?  

And when I learned Duante Wright called his Mama,
just before a cop shot him dead, I imagined him reaching
for his Mama. Who else but a Mama would lay their body 
across a son to shield him from the bullet 
they both knew was coming. 

Laurie Rosen is a lifelong New Englander. Her poems have appeared in The London Reader, Muddy River Poetry Review, Beach Reads (an anthology from Third Street Writers), Peregrine, Oddball Magazine, and other journals.