Patty Dickson Pieczka
She Died In Autumn
Final moments fall to her fingers,
where they perch like paper birds.
In her chemo-brushed voice,
she manages a joke, but her thoughts
are for her daughter
wandering a motherless world.
This hornbeam she planted
outside her window
roots into deep earth,
searching for strength.
She becomes its leaves—russet,
gold, crimson—coloring themselves
in their finest grace when they
sense death approaching.
Patty Dickson Pieczka's second book, Painting the Egret's Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from The Bitter Oleander (2012). Other books are Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011) and a chapbook, Word Paintings (Snark, 2002). She won the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest in the Best Sonnet category (2014), first prize in the 2012 Illinois Poetry Society contest as well as the Frances Locke Memorial Award (2010). She graduated in Creative Writing at SIU. Writing has appeared in many journals such as Bluestem, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Versedaily.org, and Willow Review. Her novel, Finding the Raven, was released in June, 2016 by Ravenswood Publishing. See Patty's website at http://www.pattywrites.net/