Humanist Voices in Verse: “Supper on Shawmut”

This week’s poem is by HNN’s Poetry Editor Daniel Thomas Moran. He is a retired dentist and Boston University Assistant Professor, former Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, New York and the author of seven collections of poetry. His seventh, A Shed for Wood is forthcoming from Salmon Poetry in Ireland. He lives in Webster, New Hampshire with his wife, Karen, where he has taken on the role of Unemployed Poet and Anecdotalist.

If you’d like to contribute original poetry to Humanist Voices in Verse, write to with “Poetry” in the subject line. Please send no more than three poems for consideration per week.


Supper on Shawmut

Across our street,
there is man
encased in brick.
In winter,
we can see him,
high up,
in the bare branches.

In the summer,
he is visible, but barely,
among the leaves.
My wife says,
he is cooking.

She sees him
in the evening, leaning
toward his stove.
Turning back
then back around,

He applies his
knives and wood spoons.
While we watch
for a fragrance
we will never come to know.

Soon, the angled afternoon
sun is swallowed and
the dark settles
over the brick.

Sometimes, late in a day,
I look for him from
this chair of mine.
Watching until I hear
my wife and then,

Seeing her approach
from the place
beside her stove, in
her kitchen, there
beside her window.

In her hands, the
filled plates, that
She lets me know
are our supper, and
She’ll know, I’ll know,

It’s time to
Rise up to
Draw the blinds.

—Daniel Thomas Moran