Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Sunday, March 20, 2022


by Susan Vespoli

a hummingbird flittered on the other side of the glass 
patio door    a feathered sprite that stayed   stared

       at me     hovered like an airborne messenger     stayed 
       until I rose to face it      look into its seed-bead eyes

watch its wings thrum      to keep body aloft      its face
breathing in mine      until it released me       lifted off

       toward the pot of geraniums      breathed in billowy
       red petals      sipped nectar      through its dart-sharp beak

darted around the yard    like a small soft helicopter
and then      whoosh     disappeared over the fence. I didn’t know

       my son had already disappeared    from this human life
       or that I’d google to find a hummer is a symbol for freedom

and “may be a sign that a loved one has successfully made it
(like the hummingbird) to the other side   and is doing just fine.”

Editor's Note: Susan Vespoli’s son Adam, shot and killed by police last week, appeared in many of her poems, including "Chicken" and "Alex's Teeth" (Alex = code name for Adam) in The New Verse News.

Susan Vespoli writes from Phoenix, Arizona where the opioid epidemic is still alive and well.