Terri Niccum


These days we take the moon 
for granted.
The moon is more a place
than a thing, and we’ve been there,
done that.
No new illuminations
to catch like beams
in a jar. Little to carry home.

Few still dance to assure
the moon will follow
on the heels of the sun;
fewer still
call on the moon
in their efforts to move
the earth.

The moon has been reclassified,
demoted, a mundane satellite
common as a pocketbook mirror,
stripped of her power.
Someone could replace the moon
while we’re not looking 
with any round, shiny object.

We’re too busy finding out the new,
we’d never notice.

So the stretching of our worlds
makes us poorer.
We know more,
are intimate with less.

But once a woman
with love curling like smoke inside her
could sit lonely in slate-black night
three nights – her eyes pulling down the moon,
her body drawing light like a magnet – 
could find in the moon a piece of herself
and, saying a wayward man’s name
three times, three nights,
could call him home.

Terri Niccum’s full-length collection, The Knife Thrower’s Daughter is due in June 2022 from  Moon Tide Press. She is also the author of the chapbooks Dead Letter Box (Moon Tide Press) and Looking Snow in the Eye (Finishing Line Press). Niccum was a finalist and runner-up for the 2020–2021 Steve Kowit Poetry Prize and a semi-finalist in the 2021 Knightville Poetry Contest. Her work has recently appeared in the San Diego Poetry Annual 2020-2021; Making Up, an anthology published by Picture Show Press; Nimrod International Journal; Golden Streetcar; The Maine Review; Oberon Poetry; 2020 Forever; and Redshift 5. She is married to singer-songwriter Bob Niccum and they are part of an eclectic music group called The Others.


All rights © Terri Niccum