Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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

Wednesday, June 01, 2022


by Judith Terzi

Arm me, I'm a teacher. Give me the best
that you've got. A pistol won't cut it. With 30 kids
in a class, a couple of shots too few. I'll need
an AR-15 to prevent the next slaughter. And give me
time above all. I'll need time off to learn what I'm not
trained to do. And give me a double to plan all my
classes, correct all the math, the history, the English,
the science, geography. The reading. And give me
another one to attend all the conferences, the meetings.
The kids will get why their teacher's not there.
They heard those big men on TV declare
that teachers are the absolute key to keeping them safe.
Oh give me the guts to learn how to kill.
Make me a sharpshooter, an Annie, if you will.

Author of Museum of Rearranged Objects (Kelsay), as well as of five chapbooks, Judith Terzi's poetry appears in a wide array of journals and anthologies. Her poem "Ode to Malala Yousafzai" was read on an episode of BBC/Radio 3's Words and Music. A new chapbook, Now, Somehow, will appear later this year. She taught French for many years in Pasadena, California, as well as English at California State University, Los Angeles, and in Algiers, Algeria.