Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, March 10, 2022


by Amy Shimshon-Santo

Dead bodies are placed into a mass grave on the outskirts of Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 9. (Evgeniy Maloletka/AP)

considering that bombs 
leave craters in the earth
making it difficult
to mobilize hospitals,
carry pregnant mothers
across fields of rubble

comprehending the cold breath of sunday
broken bridges, 
families gathered beneath them 
without exact destinations
beyond a border

understanding that mammals with bombs
are cold hearted
considering that men
—and I will call them that
because of their bombs —
explode sites
leaving the enduring silence
of family members

understanding that a cadaver
cannot speak

& I am just a storyteller
still living 
with the possibility of voice
I will make my breath a sign
painted in horror 
across the sky
that begs the bombing 
to stop

Amy Shimshon-Santo is a poet and educator who believes that culture is a powerful tool for personal and social transformation. Her interdisciplinary work connects the arts, education, and urbanism. She is the author of Even the Milky Way Is Undocumented (Unsolicited Press, Pushcart Prize & Rainbow Reads Award nominee).