Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions.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, October 15, 2023


by Judy Trupin

Before we speak of war

of enemies

of those deserving to die

please imagine your grandmother

in her lilac flowered housecoat

nylon, I think

holding out a chipped blue plate

with slightly burned almond cookies.

you don’t like almond cookies

but you take one

chew it out of love

your grandmother smiles

and you return the smile.

as you lean in to hug her

her image dissolves into the other

the one you have learned to hate

the ones whose offspring perhaps are killing your neighbors

as your relatives are perhaps killing hers.

her bones are sturdier than your grandmother's

the skin on her arms a few shades different from yours

her dress a soft moss green

but she still holds the chipped blue plate of almond cookies

an offering

you invite her in

you'd like to ask her to call in her offspring

and you will invite your parents, uncles and aunts

to sit together 

smooth out all that matters

but that is not to be.

your grandmother returns

scatters almonds on the countertop

one for every child killed this week

dough appears

you cannot tell from where.

the grandmothers in tandem

pound smooth and roll

partition it for the almonds

one for every child 

you watch 

you count the endless stream of cookies

as tray after tray  is set in the oven.


the war goes on.

Judy Trupin is a writer, yoga instructor and teacher of adult immigrants. She has recently left New York City behind and is exploring life in Pittsburgh.