Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, April 20, 2021


by Julie L. Moore

November 2006, Buffalo—

Cariol channeled

Fannie Lou, meeting white rage

dressed in blue that throttled

Black breath with bear hug 



& yanked the uniform’s

manly collar, traded blow

for blow, throwing

her fists in rhyme

to the mantra keeping

time: by any means 



When IA cleared


not Officer Horne,

when he sued her

& won, when her

car became her home,

she sang I will 


  And 15 years,

180 months,

65,700 days,

1,576,800 hours


             after he

pled guilty in 2011

to civil rights

violations against

4 Black teens

whose heads

& torsos he shel-

lacked & shoved
into a cruiser, 

after he spent 4

months in jail—


after 12 year-olds

DeAunta Terrel

Farrow & Tamir

Rice bled out

with toys

    in hand,  

after Charleena

Chavon Lyles

& the baby

in her womb

were christened

with an ungodly

spray (she

thought police

devils & KKK),


after Terence Crutcher,

Philando Castile,

& Alton Sterling,

after matriarch

& Missionary Baptist

“Betty Boo” Jones


   an offering

of lead the day

after Christmas,

never to raise her voice

in the choir again—


after Sandra Bland,

after beloved Juniors,

Freddie Carlos Gray

& Michael Brown,

after John Crawford III,

after Eric Garner

could no longer savor

the flavor of American

air, after Miriam

Irish Carey’s wrong


drew 26 bullets

from Capitol Police
(who didn’t hesitate

then), after Alesia Thomas

got kicked in her legs,

her abdomen, her groin—

barbarian at her L.A.



after Aiyana Mo'Nay 


caught a slug

in her seven year-old

skull, after Tarika Wilson

embraced her son

while a cop rendered 

a grotesque

       of Madonna & child,


after Botham Jean
& Breonna Taylor

learned a house

can become a noose,

after George Floyd

cried for his mother

with his last, agonizing



Daunte Demetrius Wright—





this fierce

& beautiful Black

woman, with a law

now in her name,

heard the judge proclaim,

the time is always right

to do right.

A Best of the Net and six-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Julie L. Moore is the author of four poetry collections, including, most recently, Full Worm Moon which won a 2018 Woodrow Hall Top Shelf Award and received honorable mention for the Conference on Christianity and Literature's 2018 Book of the Year Award. Her poetry has appeared in African American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, New Ohio Review, Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, and Verse Daily. She is the Writing Center Director at Taylor University, where she is also the poetry editor for Relief Journal.