Not Once Mention the Moon – by Mark MacAllister

— following the 1 August 2023 supermoon

The dog settling-in beside my campfire
is black and medium-size
and does not belong to me

or to anyone it seems
as there is no other person
for miles in every direction

he gnaws meat
from the fawn bone he carried in
while I write postcards by headlamp

and of course the dog is not my father
but certainly was sent by my father
who toward the end of his life

asked of his bookish son
only a quiet companionable room
a wall of windows open to autumn

any dog knows
that to choose wordlessness
suggests not one worrisome thing

so we not once mention the moon
its unreal diameter  the orange tinge
how quickly it rises over the horizon


Mark MacAllister grew up in northern Illinois, spent a great deal of formative time on his grandparent’s dairy farm in southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless region, and learned to write at Oberlin College. His chapbook, Quiet Men And Their Coyotes, won the 2022 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Contest and was published in January 2023. Mark now lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina but travels often to the Wisconsin Northwoods and to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to hike and bike the backcountry.