Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, April 26, 2021


by Bill Garvey

Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, April 9, 2021.

What would I do without Little Sito,
Her kibbeah, lubbeah and tabbouleh
Or the marinara sauce from Sugo drizzled over a meatball
The size of a softball, or Gus’s beef burrito
Wrapped as tightly as a newborn,
Or the sweet Albanian couple who stuff my donair
With the soul of true communism
And a healthy dollop of Halifax?
I’m waiting it out in Toronto
For Yakitori Don from Coo who
Opens for Take-Out-Only at 5
Behind a plexiglass partition
And a frown from the chef who
Hates that I’m American, I think,
Or just despises the stink of fear that wafts from Bloor
Or maybe the sewer.
I’m waiting for my mask to dry on the windowsill,
For the door to open, the sun to shine,
For the table I reserved for family
Or friends. I’d even sit with the danger of strangers.
I’d kill for linen napkins. A waitress with a bottomless smile
And a bottle of sparkling water.
I’m waiting for the man
On the street to stop veering from me
As if I had leprosy or some ailment far worse
Like, well, you know.
I’m waiting on Justin Trudeau
To answer his phone, to knock on my door,
To come to my rescue
On a horse, maybe, like the RCMP, with a syringe
And champagne.

Published in The New Verse News many years ago, Bill Garvey’s poems have been also published in Margie, The Worcester Review, 5AM, Slant, Diner, Concho River Review, New York Quarterly, and, recently, Nixes Mate Review. Finishing Line Press published his chapbook The Burden of Angels in 2007.  He and his wife live in Toronto for six months and in a tiny fishing village in Nova Scotia the other, warmer six months. Bill is a dual citizen of Canada and the US and has lived in Canada since 2010.